The Mingary Castle restoration blog was written by Jon Haylett, who lives in the local village of Kilchoan. Now that restoration is almost complete Holly and Chris Bull will take over to report on bringing the Castle back to life.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

The Courtyard Transformed

Over the last few weeks a transformation has been taking place within the castle. It's part of what is so exciting about the concept behind the refurbishment of this magnificent 13th century Scottish building - that the bare, formidable exterior which, other than the crenelated battlements and the protruding chimneys, is little changed from how it would have looked 700 years ago.... way on the interior to an 18th century dwelling, a place of which a contemporary country laird would have been comfortable in and proud of. So the walls of the three buildings have been harled, and the effect as one walks into the courtyard is magical. The place is lighter, and there's a softness which contrasts with the bare rock interiors of the great curtain walls which rise above the buildings.

The scaffolding on the north range was beginning to come down today, yet it was still covered with workmen. The painters from Mark Galley Decorators Ltd were putting the finishing touches to the upper windows of the range, and have now almost completed the interior painting. They're away tomorrow with most of their job done, but will return shortly before the building is handed over to finish off.

Other than a final coat to go on the windows, the exterior of the west range is complete. As is intended, this building would grace an Edinburgh city street.

This is the north range seen from the battlements. One of the contractors back on site - they can just be seen at mid-left - is Mark Chandler, whose company has done most of the leadwork around the building and some of the slating, and has now returned.... instal the specially made lead hoppers and downpipes of the roof drainage.

Gary Bibby, whose company Gary Bibby Joinery is responsible for the beautiful oak paneling which is going in to the north range, was also on site, measuring up and checking on the panels which have been installed. It's a pleasure talking to him as he is so proud of the quality of the work: he assured me that this panelling will last for centuries.

Gary is seen looking at one of the light fittings which has just gone in, one of ninety being installed.... the electricians from R&B Electrical & Renewables. They range from these bullseye downlights in the kitchen to wall lights and chandeliers in the formal resumption rooms. Unfortunately, many of the latter have arrived without bulbs so, although they've cleaned out the bulbs in the local shop, most of the rooms remain in semi-darkness....

....but not the bathrooms, where one of the copper tubs is now in place.

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