WORK is underway on a project to save Scotland’s best-preserved 13th Century castle.
Mingary Castle. situated on the Ardnamurchan peninsula near Kilchoan, was vital to a number of clan chiefs, but is badly in need of repair, with the castle’s shore walls starting to erode.
It is believed that the castle has not been inhabited, or been renovated in over 150 years.
Donald Houston, owner of Ardnamurchan Estate which includes the castle, has undertaken the renovation task, and told the Press and Journal that it was a ‘now or never’ project.
The castle restoration has been boosted by the backing of Historic Scotland, in addition to already having charitable status.
Whilst no long-term plans for the site have been confirmed, it is thought that future uses may include luxury housing or a visitor centre.
An Edinburgh-based archaelogical team have commenced excavation on parts of the castle in order to preserve any artefacts, and have already unearthed pieces of leather and a mediaeval bucket in the castle’s moat.
Local historian Jon Haylett has undertaken the task of observing and reporting on the archaelogical excavations, saying he was ‘absolutely thrilled’ to be involved in the restoration.
Despite its age, the castle has not been fully excavated until now, with Mr Haylett adding that the ‘sense of excitement among the archaelogists is palpable’.
The project can be followed on www.mingarycastle.co.uk