Sunday, 3 July 2016

St Comghan's - Repairs to Begin

For some months now, Kilchoan's St Comghan's church, a national scheduled monument, has been closed off by steel barriers after Highland Council declared the lintel above the only entrance door to be unsafe. Ardnamurchan History & Heritage Association, working with West Ardnamurchan Community Development Company, has now obtained permission from Historic Environment Scotland to carry out work to stabilise the door and the three arched windows of the south facade.

This picture shows the area above the door from the inside of the church - the cracks in the lintel stone are clearly visible. HES has agreed that a steel strengthener be inserted under the lintel, and oak lintels placed behind it, with the wall then being rebuilt above them. The mortar throughout the repairs will be lime mortar, as used by the original builders.

The three arches of the windows will be pointed, and small amounts of additional stone added above to provide stabilising weight.

All three window sills have lost stone from beneath them. This will be replaced to provide support though, sadly, one has already broken.

Design work was carried out by Francis Shaw, architect at Mingary Castle, and by Mingary's consulting engineer, Brian Smith, both of whom very generously gave their services free. Work will be carried out by the builders at Mingary, Ashley Thompson. HES has provided a £4,000 grant to cover all costs.

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