If they are to be preserved our castles must go through some form of consolidation or repair - and most people would agree that the integrity of the building should be preserved and such repairs should be sympathetic to the original. However, the well-intentioned search for 'purity' can sometimes lead to some bizarre results which can detract from a building's appearance.
Here are five examples that show different approaches to consolidation. Does such work detract from our experience when viewing a monument or does it indeed protect its integrity? You decide...
Rothesay Castle, Isle of Bute
The ruined gatehouse was rebuilt by the Marquis of Bute around 1900. Here, as elsewhere, he clearly delineates the old from the new, in this case by the use of red ashlar.
Blencowe Hall, Cumbria
An imaginative approach was taken in restoration. Instead of infilling the split it was utilised in a splendid fashion.
Bothwell Castle, Lanark
The red sandstone had badly weathered, Historic Environment Scotland have used modern brick to infill and support the 15th century corner tower. This is clearly visible.
Tarbert Castle, Argyll
Extensive consolidation by a local group has rescued this castle but here, as at Bothwell, modern brick has been used to plug gaps in the wall. Further, what looks like a cast of a West Highland gravestone has been superimposed on the repair.
Lochore Castle, Fife
Rescued by a local group but here again modern brick has been used to replace robbed-out stonework.
Article by Scottish Castles Association member Brian McGarrigle.