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.
Saturday, 5 December 2015
If the sky is cloudy - and that, now that we're plunging towards mid winter, is how it seems to spend a lot of its time - then it hardly gets light all day. When I arrived at the castle at nine yesterday morning, in this half-light, three men - the two Chrises and Richard - were working on the sea wall at the bottom of the cliff below the castle.
They've completed the shuttering ready for the next pour of concrete, which is due this weekend, and are now rebuilding the scaffolding to give access. While the mix is made in the car area in front of the castle, it's brought down in buckets by a tractor and then transferred, by hand, into place. It should be fun: we're forecast for a 'strong gale' all tonight and the rain continues in to Saturday morning, along with some heavy rain.
This is the view as one enters the castle through the front gate. The grey door leads into the mezzanine level of the west range, and the steps to the right go up to the battlements.
The open entrance in this picture leads into a passageway round to the left which terminates in one of the castle's three garderobes. However, at the moment there is a....
....hole in the entrance to the passage, below which is the castle dungeon. Although it remains damp, it has now been pointed and prepared for its new role as the castle cellar. Next week, specialists are arriving to fit the lift which, when raised, will form a floor to give access to the garderobe, but can be lowered to give access to the cellar.
Walking round the site, one has the impression that there is relatively little left to be done. The main task remains the oak panelling. Martin is seen here working on the bookcase in the castle study, where he is fitting the shelving. The builders are waiting for more of the room panels to arrive, and for the rest of the fittings for the stairs.
There are some very neat features in the panelling. Behind where Martin is standing in the previous picture is one of the lancet windows, but this deep recess can be closed off on a wet and windy winter's night by a door.
Most of the plumbing and electrics are now finished, with only one or two things remaining to be sorted out - like there's a glass screen to separate off this bathroom on the top, attic floor. Much of what's left will be finished before the workmen leave for a very well-deserved Christmas holiday on the 18th, but they'll be back for the last big push on 4th January.