Monday, 14 April 2014

A-spire-ing !

Here are some pictures from the first turret restoration at Balintore Castle. If you do not like heights, do not look at this photograph taken by roofer Andy from the very top of the turret, looking down at carpenter Graeme! I have assisted on the scaffolding battens below, but I may give climbing the spire myself a miss. :-)

looking down turret from the pinnacle

One side of the turret was rotten and had to be completely rebuilt - the new wood here is a lighter yellow colour. After the former was rebuilt. this had to be reclad in elongated triangular slivers of sarking. The next photo shows the resarking half-way through.

wooden internal structure for turret

Once the sarking was complete, Grame engaged in a very pagan "topping out" ceremony with a frond of yew.

cladding of turret now complete - Graeme celebrates

After the sarking, comes the roofing felt!

roofing felt cladding

From inside the restored turret you can see how carefully the new woodwork matches the old. There are 20 vertical struts to give the round shape, but note that these are not radially symmetric. There are 4 principal struts, with two subordinate struts attaching to each side. I understand this is a French method of construction for the more pointy turret. Anyhow, this makes each horizontal curved noggin between the struts almost a bespoke piece of joinery!

interior shot shows blending of old and new woodwork

Anyhow, I am delighted with the quality of the craftsmanship. Andy is now slating this turret - photos will follow. I can't wait to proceed with the other turrets.

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