A RUINED Highland castle is in the final stages of its transformation into a multi-million pound hotel.
The 13th century castle at Ardnamurchan, Highlands has been unoccupied for 150 years but that is all set to change as the £2.3 million renovation reaches its conclusion.
Work on Mingary Castle has been ongoing since April last year and the first paying guests are expected to arrive at the new luxury holiday retreat within the next few weeks.
Major renovations on the walls and roof have been carried out on the castle, which sits on the most westerly point of mainland Britain, with the focus now being on the interior.
Tradesmen are now working to fit electrics and plumbing, as well as tile the floors and plaster the walls.
Local historian Jon Haylett praised the skills of the stonemasons who worked on the outside -- and said the future of the castle was looking bright.
He said: “The work that has been done is fantastic.
“The building was literally in a state of collapse.
“The castle has stood for 700 years. The quality of the workmanship has created something that will stand for another 700 years.”
Owner Donald Houston, of Ardnamurchan Estate, was granted permission to turn the castle into a residential property, through the Mingary Preservation Trust.
Work began last April to restore it.
The castle had been crumbling, the walls were close and the ruin was without a roof.
But now a roof is in place, new mortar has been used to repair the brickwork and new railings have been installed up staircases and on the battlement.
The excavation on parts of the castle had unearthed a cannonball believed to have been fired more than 350 years ago, ammunition, pieces of leather and a medieval bucket in the castle’s moat.
Previously developers had also discovered a secret chapel which they intended on turning into a bathroom
It was discovered in the 10ft thick north wall, with blocked up windows and part of the room filled in.
Secret passages and a small room that were sealed up around 500 years ago have also been discovered during recent restoration work at the castle.