Castle restoration entering new phase

Work at Lindisfarne Castle.
Work at Lindisfarne Castle.
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The focus of a £1.3million restoration project on Lindisfarne Castle is set to move to its north and west elevations.

Work on the east and south elevations, which has involved a huge scaffolding construction and tent covering the roof, is nearing completion.

Nick Lewis, house steward for the National Trust, said: “By comparison, the west elevation of Lindisfarne is tiny; consisting only really of a few bits of the Upper Battery visible from the harbour.

“Of course this side bears the brunt of the prevailing weather, so is in need of particular care, as is the north side, on the left as you look at the building from the harbour.”

Writing in the Island newsletter, he reveals that the full harl applied in the 1990s is in decent condition.

However the wall behind has deteriorated much like the other elevations and its core is in need of packing and pinning before the harl can be reapplied and lime-washed in tune with the rest of the building.

“To access this there is further scaffolding going up both on the north side and on the Upper Battery,” explained Nick.

“The huge scaffold already on the north side is being extended westward by five bays while the construction on the Battery will go up and over the Upper Gallery to connect up to the north side. The vast tent covering the east roof will then be dismantled – along with the giant buttress on the south side which holds it up – and then reassembled over the north and west roof.”

A new spitter (or spout) on the south elevation overlooking the road up to the boat sheds has now been installed and will take rainwater from the Upper Gallery roof down onto the crag. This was carried out via a cantilevered scaffold from the Upper Battery weighed-down by two giant water tanks.

The stonework itself was carried out by Hutton Stone along with the St Astier masons onsite, and is an exact copy of the other spitters at the castle.

On the castle’s interior, major strides are being made in cleaning off impermeable paints from the walls. This process used a DOFF machine which works like a giant steam cleaner.