Friday, 28 August 2020

Women Servants' Bed Room

The women servants' bedroom on the top floor of Balintore Castle is the room currently undergoing restoration. This would have had, say, four single beds: housing kitchen and household maids very much in the fashion of a dormitory.  There are the remains of bell mechanisms in one corner, which would have been used to summon the young ladies to their duties. There are smaller adjoining rooms which I reckon would have been used as single bedrooms by the older or more senior female staff.

I thought it would be interesting for blog readers to see a pair of snapshots of work in progress. The first photo was taken on the 11th August, and the second photo was taken on the 28th August, which is today.

You can see the plaster-work repair round the dormer window on the left side of the images had been completed. This was done using a combination of plasterboard and also by pressing browning (undercoat plaster) into surviving lath. Greg often gives his plaster-work a coat of white paint to check on the finish, as you can see here.

New floor-boarding was completed over the whole room today. In the earlier photo you can see a small amount of existing flooring as well as OSB (Oriented Strand Board) sheeting which was used as a temporary floor covering so we could move about the room. The original plank flooring was affected by dry rot, but we are going to recycle the good lengths of this to floor smaller rooms.

While the trend is mainly forwards, a section of original plaster-work by the door on the right which looked sound has been stripped away. We discovered dry-rot behind it - water has obviously been running down this section of wall, possibly for decades. Apart from this, plaster-work repairs to walls and the ceiling are essentially complete.

It was very odd today to be able to walk around the entirety of this room. Previously, there were numerous large holes in the floor which one simply did not approach, as one would have dropped a long way down: all the way to the floor of the Great Hall beneath.

I have some reclaimed vintage oak units which we will re-purpose to fit out this gratifyingly large room. I can't wait! The transition of ruined space, that one passes through nervously and quickly, to usable accommodation is what it's all about.

To donate to the Balintore restoration project click here.

Women Servants' Bed Room 11th August 2020

Women Servants' Bed Room 28th August 2020


  1. Oh! What a beautiful room!

    What will you be using it as?

    1. Probably as a communal room as it is right in the centre of all the other bedrooms on the top floor.