As mentioned in earlier correspondence, the path to preservation passes through several requisite steps. In order to bolster the masonry to stabilize the castle tower, the site has to be properly "recorded" by surveying the location, having an expert examine and creating proper drawngs of the standings structures, and combining these with map and narrative to describe the archaeologically signficant features of the site. The site has to be stable enough that works can be performed without damage to the structures or site and removal of damaging foliage is a first step toward stabilization. When this work is completed via Phases II and III, the resulst will inform a plan for consolidating masonry and proposals can be made for exploratory excavations. We are moving quickly to complete Phase III ... yielding composite maps, drawings, and archaeological reports.
The October work revealed that the castle walls were in better shape than expected. Repointing and/or consolidation of the masonry will preserve the tower for many years to come and should not be less costly than originally expected. Historic Scotland has agreed to extend the existing Scheduled Monument Consent (approval) to permit cutting of the trees at the base of the south wall of the tower on the next trip and all data needed to complete the requisite reports should be in hand after the next visit.
The Ellan Vhow Preservation Fund will continue to promote preservation and archaeological study of the island and can provide the channels for additional projects to be peformed by other groups or can continue to sponsor projects directly. The Fund's ties with local archaeologists and with Historic Scotland ...created through the projects enabled by your donations ... can help to ensure approval for additonal works that will preserve this important archaeological site for generations to come.
Thank you again for your support!