Castle Sinclair Girnigoe – Masonry Stabilisation

The purpose of this contract was to prevent the seaward wall of a section of this historic castle falling 70 feet into the sea. As you can see from the pictures taken before work commenced, the wall was extremely unstable.

The opinion of the contractors previously asked to price the work was that the wall was too far gone to be saved, and the danger to the men on site would be too great to allow them to proceed in any case.

BCM Steeplejacks were able to provide the necessary access and building expertise to complete the job safely, and to a high standard.


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This is how the structure looked before rebuilding commenced.


This shot shows more clearly the huge amount of masonry that is resting on the weak corner pillar.


Rebuilding the seaward wall. This was the first task undertaken.

Large “needle” stones (as seen in the picture below) were used every second course to give added stability to the structure.

The mortar used matched the original. It was mixed by the specialist company Mason’s Mortar, from Edinburgh, after an analysis by the Scottish Lime Centre had determined the constituents required.


The “needle” stones.


This shot shows the work from the landward side.


Bringing up the side wall.


 Another view.


Preparing to build the first of the lintels that link the side wall and the seaward wall together.

They help to stabilise the structure, and they support the stonework which was subsequently built above them.


Lintols now in place.


 Lintols seen from the inside.


Beginning to build on top of lintols.


The gap is now filled. This shot shows the new masonry from the inside of the building.


And a view from the outside. At this stage we are tidying up the pointing.


Tidying up the pointing on the seaward wall.


The finished job.

This part of the castle is now completely secure.


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