History walk and open day on July 24

A FREE history walk and open day is being held in Kinneil Estate on Sunday, July 24. Kinneil Museum will be open during the afternoon. There will also be a history walk in the estate, starting at 2 p.m. outside the museum – and ending with a free tour inside Kinneil House (pictured right).  Full details in the story below.

Kinneil History Walk and Open Day – Sunday, July 24, 2011

Run by: The Friends of Kinneil, Falkirk Local History Society, Historic Scotland and Falkirk Community Trust
12.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. Suitable for any age. Walk from 2 p.m. outside Kinneil Museum.

What’s it about?: Special open day at historic Kinneil Estate on the outskirts of Bo’ness in central Scotland. The free Kinneil Museum will be open from 12.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. There will also be a history walk leaving from outside the Museum at 2 p.m. It will tour part of the 200 acre Kinneil Estate, which includes a Roman Fortlet, part of the Antonine Wall; a cottage used by inventor James Watt; and the remains of a 12th century church. The walk will end with a tour inside the impressive Kinneil House, which dates back to the 15th century, and boasts some of the best renaissance wall paintings in Scotland. Please wear appropriate shoes and clothing if taking part in the walk. Leading the walk will be well-known local historian Ian Scott.

Cost: Admission to the museum is free of charge. There is also no charge to go on the walk or to visit Kinneil House. Parking on the site is also free, but is limited. Please note that the House will only be open for part of the afternoon, to tie in with the visit by the History Walk.

Venue: Kinneil House, Museum and Estate, Bo’ness, Scotland, EH51 0PR – see www.kinneil.org.uk/map

About this location: Historic Kinneil Estate is on the western edge of Bo’ness in central Scotland, just off the A904/A993. The Roman Antonine Wall runs through the site – making it part of the "Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site".The Museum is open all year, normally Monday to Saturdays, from 12.30 p.m. to 4 p.m.(as well as free open days such as this). It’s a good place to start your visit. Call 01506 778530 for more information or details on access. The museum features a small retail area, audio visual show, displays and artefacts dating back to Roman Times.

Other things to see in the estate are:

    Historic home of the Dukes of Hamilton. Dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries. See inside during special open days (such as this). Guides from The Friends of Kinneil charity take people through the House
    and tell its fascinating story. Look out for the rare renaissance wall paintings – said to be the best in Scotland – and the resident ghost. Free admission. Check with Kinneil Museum for information on the next open days.
    Ruins of the 12th century church at Kinneil lie a short distance to the west of Kinneil House. Just walk over the bridge, crossing a rocky ravine, to reach the site. The site is one of the earliest places for religious worship in the area. It was abandoned in the 17th century and partly destroyed by fire shortly after. All that remains is the western gable end and some historic gravestones. A bell from the church can be seen in Kinneil Museum.
    One of the milecastles built by the Romans around 140 AD as part of the Antonine Wall, the Empire’s most northerly frontier. Part of the roadway into the fortlet has been excavated. Posts and paving slabs mark the outline of the fortlet buildings. The line of the wall has also been partly reconstructed. Remains from the fortlet, and more information, can be seen in Kinneil Museum.
    Small outbuilding, to the rear of Kinneil House, where inventor James Watt worked on his development of the steam engine. The experiments were supported by industrialist John Roebuck, who was living in Kinneil House at the time. The building, which now has no roof or door, dates back to the mid 1700s.
    You can also visit the surrounding acres of woodland and two ponds – and see coots, buzzards and swans – plus many other animals. There are occasional guided walks through the park. Check with Kinneil Museum for details.

Driving directions: If you’re travelling from other parts of central Scotland, use the M9 motorway and take the exits to Bo’ness. If you have a satellite navigation device, type in the postcode EH51 0PR to get directions. There is a small car park at the museum and a larger car park at nearby Kinneil Woods, a short walk from the House and Museum. See our special Google map to help you.

Rail links: The nearest mainline train station is Linlithgow (the next town). Alternatively, visitors to the Bo’ness and Kinneil Steam Railway (run by the Scottish Railway Preservation Society) can visit Kinneil Estate by getting off the train at “Kinneil Halt”. It’s a 15-20 minute walk from there up to Kinneil House and Museum.

Bus links: Linlithgow Rail Station and neighbouring towns have good bus connections with Bo’ness. Visit the Traveline Scotland website and use their journey planner to help you find relevant services.

Air: Edinburgh Airport is around 13 miles away. You can get a bus into the city, and then travel back to Bo’ness by train/bus – or by bus. You can also get a taxi to Bo’ness.

Toilets: There are toilets within Kinneil Museum. There’s also a disabled toilet at entrance to old walled garden in the estate (RADAR kay required) and ‘Superloo’ toilet just off Provost Road, beside the larger car park at Kinneil Woods.

Access: Guide dogs and hearing dogs are welcome within Kinneil Museum. There is no disabled access to the upper floor of the museum, but alternative interpretation on the ground floor for visitors to enjoy.

Refreshments: Kinneil Museum sells sweets, fruit juice and tea and coffee to enjoy on site. It also supplies free chilled water. The nearest bar/restaurant to Kinneil is the Richmond Park Hotel, open seven days. There are also cafes/restaurants in Bo’ness and Linlithgow town centres, a short drive away. See our special Google map to help you.

Neighbouring attractions include:
** Linlithgow Palace
** Blackness Castle
** Bo’ness Motor Museum and the
** Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway
** The historic Bo’ness Hippodrome Cinema (Scotland’s first purpose-built cinema, now re-opened).

This activity is organised and run by The Friends of Kinneil charity, in conjunction with Falkirk Local History Society, Historic Scotland and Falkirk Community Trust
Telephone: 01506 778530 (Kinneil Museum) or 01506 823714 (The Friends of Kinneil); Email:
info@kinneil.org.uk. No need to register. Just turn up on the day.