The abandoned ruin of Mingary Castle has been renovated by a team of highly skilled craftsmen, who have turned crumbling stonework, long lost roofs and floors buried deep in undergrowth into a luxury hotel that can once again provide its guests with the finest of Highland hospitality.
Situated on Ardnamurchan Peninsula, near Kilchoan, this hidden gem on the west coast of Scotland is not only steeped in history but also has stunning scenery and breath taking wildlife to offer.
Holly Bull, Manager of Mingary Castle, said: “The castle is over 700 years old and because it is a historic monument the owner didn’t want to see it falling into the sea, so a decision was made to get planning permission. The owner didn’t want to restore it to a ruin, he wanted to bring it back to life and we were very lucky because it was the first ever ancient monument to receive planning permission to be returned to a dwelling.
“It ended up being six months worth of archaeological digs before they were able to start building work and then I believe it has been about two and half to three years now and it has gone from crumbling ruins to luxury hotel.”
The hotel offers four unique suites, sleeping ten, with fine bathrooms and four poster beds. The MacDougall is situated on the second floor of the North Range and contains a double sized four poster bed, hand sewn crewel fabric lined walls and antique furniture. Though the smaller of the bedrooms, the en-suite is contained between the castle walls with a beautiful roll top copper bath from William Holland, a walk in shower and arrow slow windows looking over the garden.
The MacIain is situated on the second floor of the North Range and has a super-king sized antique four poster bed, its own dressing room and half height oak panelling with hand sewn crewel fabric above.
The McCain Suite is a family and friends suite and is located on the third floor of the North Range and consists of two rooms with views over the Sound of Mull towards Tobermory. They have king sized four poster beds and the family bathroom is lined in Italian marble. There is also access to the battlement walkway from your very own door.
Finally, the MacDonald Suite is a self contained apartment in the West Range of the castle with its own front door. It is accessed through the main courtyard on the ground floor and its living room has an exposed stone fireplace with wood burning stove. Going up the beautiful carved staircase there is a first floor bedroom with a super king sized antique four poster bed and its own en-suite with an over the bath shower.
Holly commented: “The castle hadn’t been lived in for 150 years and on the inside there are two Georgian buildings and that is what has been restored. There are 12/13th century walls on the outside and then inside, it is more like a Georgian townhouse styled dwelling. The only things that were in existence were the front of the North Range and the curtain wall and everything else was trees, earth and crumbling stone. It really has been taken from nothing to something that is quite spectacular.”
The main contractors on the project were Ashley Thompson and the main architects were Shaw and Jagger.
Holly concluded: “To see the passion and craftsmanship that has gone into the project means so much. The owner has always said that he didn’t want it to fall into the sea and now it has been taken from an absolute crumbling ruin to something that is breathtaking. You just forget what an amazing project it is and that it is going to be here for another 700 years, which is fantastic.”
Mingary Castle Curtains
Specialising for over thirty years in handmade bespoke soft furnishings including interlined curtains of differing styles, blinds, four-poster beds, cushion covers, tie backs and relishing unusual challenges.
Sandra Jeffrey from Mingary Castle Curtains said: “Being involved in the rebuilding of Mingary Castle from ruins and bringing it up to first class accommodation has been a fantastic opportunity. The high level of craftsmanship deployed, knowing that guests can come and experience it for themselves and knowing that we have played a part in it is extremely rewarding. Over three miles of hand sewing alone was done to produce the soft furnishings.”
The Mingary Castle redevelopment project included half wall fabric paneling in two of the bedrooms and five different four-poster beds. Interlined floppy topped corded curtains, tie backs and scatter cushions also corded, were produced. Everything was handmade out of hand embroidered crewel-work fabric and the fitted curtains hang from handmade wrought iron curtain poles.
Projects undertaken by the company vary in size from a single boxed cushion to multiple pairs of curtains. At Langford Old Hall the company produced curtains, cushions and drapes for a four poster bed which is now sited in the “Square Bedroom” at Hellifield Peel in Yorkshire, which featured on the channel 4 TV programme “Grand Designs.”
The company prides itself on the integrity that produces the highest standard of top class product.