HISTORIC Kinneil House in Bo’ness will come alive to the sound of music this weekend.
The imposing mansion – which dates back to the late 1400s – will be opening its doors for free tours on Sunday afternoon (June 24, 2012).
Musicians will help visitors step back in time, playing pieces from the 17th and 18th centuries.
The open afternoon has been organised by the charity The Friends of Kinneil, in association with Historic Scotland.
Visitors can see inside from noon until 4 p.m. on Sunday, with the last admission at 3.30 p.m. The house boasts some of the best Renaissance wall paintings in Scotland.
Maria Ford, the chair of The Friends of Kinneil, said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming two talented musicians to the House on Sunday.
"Andrew Burnside, from Falkirk, plays mandolin, and Enid Forsyth, from Edinburgh, plays the harp. Together, as the duo Linkwood, they’ll be entertaining visitors throughout the afternoon, mainly with music from the 17th and 18th centuries. It should create a wonderful atmosphere.”
She added: "A few hundred years ago, this place was a hive of activity.
"The 17th century saw Kinneil House, originally two buildings, turned into an imposing mansion house by the Hamilton family. Then, in the 18th century, Dr. John Roebuck, a founder of the Carron Company in Falkirk, lived at the House and formed a partnership with the inventor James Watt. Watt’s subsequent work to improve the steam engine, partly carried out at Kinneil, changed the world.
"Guides from the Friends of Kinneil will be hand to explain the building’s fascinating history – and to tell visitors about the renaissance wall paintings inside two of the rooms on show.
"The afternoon tours – and the musical performances – are free of charge. We hope local people, and visitors from further afield, will come along on Sunday. A trip to Kinneil House is a fantastic day out."
The mansion is at the centre of Kinneil Estate, a public park. The site also boasts a museum (which will be open on Sunday afternoon), the remains of a Roman fortlet and medieval church and a workshop cottage used by the aforementioned James Watt.
To find out more, visit http://www.kinneil.org.uk
You can view the exterior of Kinneil House – and tour the grounds – all year. However visitors can only see inside the building during free open days, organised by Historic Scotland with the support of The Friends of Kinneil (Charity Registration Number: SC038368).
Kinneil Estate is on the western edge of Bo’ness in central Scotland, just off the A904/A993 and is part of the Frontiers of The Roman Empire World Heritage Site. For satellite navigation devices, use the postcode EH51 0PR. Call Kinneil Museum on 01506 778530.