The Edinburgh gathering also reminded me what an exceptional group of experts we have on the team ... Fiona Baker, David Connolly, and Tom Addyman forming the core. Simpson and Brown have given us detailed instructions for preservation of the tower and estimates for the work. Although the sum is a bit staggering, the experts feel the work to date should help in getting funding for the bulk of the work. We also may be able to stage the work, but anything beyond two stages would likely net increase the costs. The recommendations call for clearing and leveling the dirt above the vault, stabilizing the vault, capping the ground above with clay for water protection and laying sod. This would provide a stable surface for scaffolding to allow the tower walls to also be capped with clay and sod ... and for the most unstable, potentially dangerous, portions of the walls to be stabilized. All that done, re-pointing of the masonry would stabilize and preserve the tower for another few hundred years hopefully.
As we finish the HES report and submit the third Schedule Monument Consent, we will also start laying out strategies for fund raising. Although unlikely to fund the project, we do still have plans for converting the seasoned elm (taken from the cellar entrance in 2013) into sgian dubh, quaichs, serving boards and the like. We will also likely be selling "bags of mortar" and the like as the consolidation work begins. We are still trying to find a way to include the names of donors on the signage on the island and plan to work with LLTTNP to produce the signage.
Thanks to all for your patience and support.