A HISTORIC house – normally closed to the public – is opening its doors this weekend.
Kinneil House in Bo’ness, which houses some of the best renaissance wall paintings in Scotland, will provide free access to visitors on Sunday, September 21.
Access to the A-listed mansion has been organised by Historic Scotland in conjunction with volunteers from the charity The Friends of Kinneil. The House will be open from 12 noon to 4 p.m. (last admission 3.30 p.m.)
Free tours have been organised to tie in with the Kinneil Heritage Day, which is taking place the same afternoon in the surrounding Kinneil Estate. The family fun event, organised by Falkirk Council, has a Roman theme to mark the area’s new designation as part of “The Frontiers of the Roman Empire” World Heritage Site.
Kinneil House is built close to the line of the Roman Antonine Wall. A Roman fortlet is also a short walk from the house itself.
A spokesperson for the Friends of Kinneil said: “Kinneil House is normally closed to the public. However, in conjunction with Historic Scotland, we have been working to improve public access – through free open days like the one this Sunday. The renaissance wall paintings at Kinneil are quite spectacular and we’d encourage people to come along and discover the fantastic heritage we have at Kinneil.”
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.
In the early part of the 20th century, the house and estate were sold to Bo’ness Town Council. In 1936, the local authority stated demolition work, but halted the process when the rare renaissance wall paintings were discovered by a worker. The buildings were put into the care of the Ministry of Works, now Historic Scotland.
The main heritage day at Kinneil will run from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Again, admission is free of charge.
Roman re-enactment groups The Antonine Guard and a Comitatvs are making an appearance, alongside charity stalls and lots of fun for all the family. There will also be face painting, bouncy castles and exciting displays from Falkirk Company of Archers and Saltire Birds of Prey.
For more information on Kinneil House and estate, please visit www.kinneil.org.uk
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. Kinneil House is just off the A993 – the main road through Bo’ness in central Scotland. For location information visit www.kinneil.org.uk/map or call Kinneil Museum on 01506 778530 . Kinneil House is only open during special open days. However, neighbouring Kinneil Museum, run by Falkirk Council, is open to the public throughout the year. The Museum is normally open Monday to Saturday from 12.30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.
2. Read the Council Press Release on the Heritage Day.