Have your stone masonry project completed by the experts in the field. Contact us at John A McLean Stonemasons Ltd for a free quotation for your stone masonry requirements. 

Our team of skilled stonemasons can help conserve your historic building. We've worked on projects for clients including:  

  • Historic Scotland
  • The National Trust 
  • Scottish Natural Heritage

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Don't just take our word for it. Take a look at what our recent customers have to say about our services below.

Testimonial for John A McLean Stonemasons Ltd

EILEAN DONAN CASTLE BRIDGE - STRUCTURAL MAINTENANCE

Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most photographed and filmed locations in Scotland. The Castle itself is a scheduled ancient monument. Loch Duich has Special Area of Conservation status. Every year tens of thousands of visitors cross the bridge to the Castle. These are some of the constraints under which the programme of structural maintenance on the access bridge was carried out. The works could only be undertaken during the winter months, when the Castle was closed to visitors. Not the best time to be working in such ah exposed location. Even during the winter the use of the Castle for weddings placed an additional restraint on the use of scaffolding and works on the bridge deck.

John McLean (Stonemasons) Ltd was engaged to carry out the programme of structural maintenance on the bridge. In essence this was to remove unsafe masonry from the piers and cutwaters and then to rebuild new, raking stone piers around the central concrete cores. This sounds fairly straightforward but the task was far from easy. The bridge looks as if it has been there for ever but it was built only about 75 years ago. Superficially it seems to be a substantial masonry structure. In fact it is a stone-clad concrete bridge which has deteriorated badly over the years. The deterioration was exacerbated by the poor workmanship of the original builders. This poor workmanship became evident during the planning of the works when a large section of one of the cutwaters collapsed, exposing the badly degraded concrete underneath.

John’s first task was to stabilise and make the structure safe to avoid further collapse over the winter, whilst agreement was finalised with the Highland Council planning department, Historic Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and Scottish Environment Protection Agency. John was able to respond quickly to do this work.

The structural maintenance itself was unusual work for stonemasons, with large portions of the work being subject to scour from the fast current through the bridge as the tide rose and fell. John and his team became accustomed to working with variable-set lime mortar and planning their work to have areas to work on at all states of the tide. It was also impressive to note how hard the masons worked and that they continued working in all but the most severe of blizzards!

The bridge had been constructed in a haphazard manner so that new problems were constantly being unearthed. John worked very well with the designers, (Halcrow Group Ltd), in finding solutions to such problems as, for example, when it was discovered that one pier was built using a railway sleeper instead of stone as a foundation.

John MacLean himself played a very active part in aIl the site works. As well as overseeing the masons and planning and programming their works John also managed scaffolding and drilling sub-contractors, attended progress meetings with the client, (the Conchra Trust), ensured HSW requirements were met, ensured compliance with environmental requirements and accommodated weddings, film shoots and clan meetings.

The designers are very pleased with the way John McLean (Stonemasons) approached this job and would not hesitate to recommend John for further work.
— Ralph Shackleton, Senior Engineer, Halcrow Group Ltd.

Hire professional stonemasons for your stonewalling, cleaning or restoration projects in Ross-shire.

Call John A McLean Stonemasons Ltd on 01349 863 975