b'ARCHITECTURE THE CARNEGIE CLUBPrevious pages, from left: thistle detailing; one of Skibos ornate stone staircases. This page, from top: crow-stepped gables; Skibo in 1901.vocational courses in heritage crafts includingcompletely. Garry has recreated these forfor the stonework of the buildings, but also Opposite: the terracestonemasonry, woodworking and thatching.us, and members at Skibo are once againthe boundary walls and drystone dykes on stonework, featuringAt Skibo, we are passionate about theinspired to follow Louises direction andthe estate. With his decades of experience, Psalm 121preservation of these key skills, says Gruber.take in the magnificent views of Struie Hill. Mackay is an invaluable member of the team. We work with a local company, SutherlandWhile some pieces go straight fromLike many master craftspeople, though, he is Stone, and particularly with their masonthe workshop to the castle, more prominentapproaching retirement. Gruber is conscious Garry Buggy, who tools replacementstonework has a rather more circuitousof the impact the loss of a man of Mackays stonework for us in the companys workshopjourney ahead. Even though the stone istalents will be to Skibo. Consequently, the vulnerable to erosion, and a century ofin Golspie. He can recreate identical matchesidentical to that used to build the castle,Club hopes to pair him with an apprentice Highland winters has taken its toll onfor Skibos original features, from terraceit looks the same as the Skibo sandstone didin the last few years of his employment to some of the more exposed parts of Skibosbalustrades and complex ropeworkover a century ago when it was brand new.ensure that the invaluable skills he possesses stonework. The question of how to respond toto multifaceted thistle finials. One hundred and twenty years have agedare passed on to a new generation.this issue fell to estate director Gary Gruber,Last year, we replaced some of thethe look of the stonework considerably, saysWe have a duty of care as custodians of who today oversees a programme ofcoping stones on the castle terrace. TheyGruber. To mitigate the difference in colourSkibo, says Gruber. The castle, its gardens conservation, repair and restoration of thehad originally been inscribed with a line fromand condition, the larger blocks of cut stoneand buildings have been here, in some cases, historic architecture that aims to retain andone of Louise Whitfield Carnegies favouriteare left outdoors to weather, sometimes forfor centuries. With the Clubs commitment protect as much of the original stone aspsalmsI will lift up mine eyes unto the hillsyears, before being installed. to conserve the historic stonework and its possible and, where it is not possible to retain but over the years the stone had eroded toThis task falls to the Clubs stonemason,support of the tradition of artisanship at Skibo, it, to replace it in a sensitive and authentic way.the extent that the inscription had been lostBenny Mackay, who is responsible not onlythey look set to stand for centuries more. When the project began in 2014, Gruber knew that two aspects needed to be considered: material and craftsmanship. The Evelix Quarry had long since closed, so62the question for Gruber was where he could 6 3source sandstone as similar to the original as possible. He commissioned a petrographic analysis from the British Geological Survey, which studied the Skibo sandstone in the hope of matching it to a commercially available stone. We were in luck, says Gruber. They discovered that Skibo sits at the north of the Raddery Sandstone Formation, that extends 30 miles south-east to Elgin, and so we now use a quarry there, which excavates sandstone geologically identical to that which was hewn here on the estate a century ago. With suitable replacement stone sourced, Gruber visited Culzean Castle and Dumfries House to investigate how they were responding to stone degradation. I found that they were facing the same problem Amy Murrell; Skibo archive we were at Skibo: whether it was caring for historic stonework, leaded windows or parquetry, there just werent enough craftspeople to cope with the demand. This skills shortage has been recognised by organisations such as The Princes Foundation, which operates a programme of'