THERE’S lots of exciting things to see in Kinneil Estate. If you’re visiting for the first time, why not try this guided tour? It’s one of a series of walks in a new guide, published by Falkirk Council. Copies of the guide are available for free from Kinneil Museum and other Council outlets.
Historian Ian Scott followed part of the route as part of an organised walk in the Estate. If you missed the walk, but would like to hear Ian’s stories and comments, click the audio files below. You can also find this content online at www.audioboom.com/kinneil
START: The best place to start your visit is at Kinneil Museum – a small red, roofed building in front of the imposing Kinneil House. Park your car in the small parking area next to the Museum, or in the larger car parking area off Provost Road at Kinneil Woods, a short distance away. The museum features an extensive display on the history of Kinneil Estate.
There’s also a short video about what you might see during your visit. The Museum is usually open Monday to Saturday, all year, from 12.30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
1. From the Museum follow the red blaes path towards the imposing Kinneil House.The oldest part of the structure dates back to the late 15th century. It was remodelled in the 16th century, and transformed into a stately home for the Dukes of Hamilton in the 1660s. The House is only open on selected free days during the year. Ask at the Museum for dates.
Hear Ian’s introduction (in two parts)
Hear more about the House
The House boasts some of the best renaissance wall paintings in Scotland – plus a resident ghost!
Hear Ian talk about the White Lady – Lady Alice Lilbourne.
2. Standing in front of the House, look for a small exit in the wall to the left (right next to the building) and go through this.
From this position, Ian talks about the rear of the House – and a fossilised tree.
You should come to roofless, 18th century building. This is James Watt’s Cottage – a building where the famous inventor carried out his early work to develop the steam engine. Watt was working in partnership with John Roebuck, who leased Kinneil House for a period.
Hear Ian talk about the Cottage – and Kinneil played a key part in the Industrial Revolution
3. To the immediate west of the cottage is a small footbridge. Cross this and head towards the ruins of the 12th century Kinneil Church. It used to be surrounded by a medieval village. The village and its many inhabitants are all gone today – but parts of the church and its gravestones remain.
Ian talks about the story of the Church – and the neighbouring village (in two parts)
4. Carry on past the church into the field to the west. Follow the path round the East Pond. You should shortly come to the remains of a Roman Fortlet from the 2nd century – linked to the turf Antonine Wall. This is part of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site.Details about the Fortlet and a special guide to walks around the Antonine Wall are available from the Museum.
Ian Scott talks about the Roman Fortlet (in two parts)
5. Continue along the path to the West Pond. This is populated by swans, coots and ducks – and is popular with younger visitors. Here you can turn left to Kinneil Woods and make your way back to the car park.
6. Alternatively, go round the back (western edge) of the pond. This is a longer way to enter the Woods. There are a number of paths through the Woods to enjoy. If you think you’re getting lost, just ask one of the many regular walkers or cyclists for directions.
Audio hosted by Audio Boom – http://www.audioboom.com