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Preserving the Past for the Future

A future for Mingary and Tioram Castles?


The seaboard castles of Mingary and Tioram are situated on the Ardnamurchan Peninsular and it would be difficult to imagine 2 more attractive settings.

Both date from the 13th century but whereas Mingary is undergoing restoration, all attempts at Tioram have been abandonned and the castle left to the elements.

Responding to an invitation from The Mingary Castle Preservation and Restoration Trust, members of the SCA took the opportunity to visit both it and its nearbye sister of Tioram.

Restoration began at Mingary in 2013 and from what we saw it is very close to completion.

Attempts to restore Tioram ceased in 2002 after a public enquiry, leaving the castle in a precarious state.

Mingary sea land
Mingary Castle - Left: Sea wall and gate. Right: Land wall and gate

Why has Mingary succeeded where Tioram has failed? Well, here it was ruled that restoration was ‘in the public interest’. That, and the fact that it was self-funded with a guaranteed future, tipped the scales. Mingary is being restored to its Georgian state which will allow it to stage events and to be let for occupancy. The whole is being done to a superb standard and we were impressed by what we saw. The castle will be open to the public on special days.

Tioram is more remotely situated on a tidal island which in itself is a hindrance to restoration. A void in the sea wall is supported by a steel jack but this can only be regarded as a short-term expedient.

Tioram land sea
Tioram Castle - Left: Land wall and gate. Right: Void in sea wall supported by jack - the wall is thinest at this point

We hope that Mingary’s success will prompt a fresh look at Tioram Castle with a view towards its complete restoration


Article by SCA member Brian McGarrigle.


Date posted: 26 Oct 2015Last updated: 27 Oct 2015


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Comments found: (1)
Comment by: Denis Mollison on Mon, 2nd Nov 2015, 3:16 pmRef id: 73

Tioram is not in a precarious state. That steel jack may look impressive, but is not actually holding anything up - there\'s an air gap between it and the stonework it supposedly supports. It is there because there was a stonefall of part of the outer skin of the wall from below the aperture that was repaired circa. 2000, but the aperture itself hasn\'t changed in over 30 years. Historic Scotland has offered to pay for consolidation, but the owner has refused this.

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