FREE open days at historic Kinneil House last weekend attracted more than 400 visitors.
The Bo’ness mansion – said to be haunted by the ghost of a “White Lady” – was open for three hours each day on Saturday and Sunday, as part of the run-up to Hallowe’en. The imposing building boasts renaissance wall paintings which are said to be the best in Scotland.
“On average we had more than one person a minute coming through the doors,” said Adrian Mahoney, of The Friends of Kinneil, which organised the opening with Historic Scotland. “It was very busy.
“As well as people from Bo’ness and Linlithgow we also had visitors from across Falkirk district. One family from England even re-scheduled their visit to the area to make sure they could attend the open weekend. We were delighted at the turnout and were pleased so many people came along to visit the House and its neighbouring museum.”
The opening tied in with Make a Difference Day – which encouraged people across the UK to volunteer to help their community.
Said Adrian: “Volunteers from The Friends of Kinneil were keen to open up the House for Hallowe’en and we were pleased that Historic Scotland helped us do this. I think our efforts were appreciated by the visitors, who learned about the rich history of the House and its surrounding estate.
“Open Days like this are part of our ongoing work to promote Kinneil Estate and we hope everyone enjoyed their visit at the weekend.”
Kinneil House dates back to the 15th century and was once a popular home for the Dukes of Hamilton. The building was re-modelled in the 1540s and transformed into a stately home in the 1660s. It was bought by Bo’ness Town Council in 1922.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the building being saved from demolition – and transferred into the care of the Ministry of Works, now Historic Scotland.