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 Saturday afternoon (June 28, 2014). Musicians will be on hand to help visitors step back in time, playing music from the 16th to 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 3 p.m. on Saturday, with the last admission at 2.30 p.m. The house boasts some of the best Renaissance wall paintings in Scotland.
Kinneil Museum – next to Kinneil House – will also be open.
Adrian Mahoney from The Friends of Kinneil said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming two talented musicians to Kinneil House on Saturday.
“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. It should create a wonderful atmosphere.”
The free open day takes place the day after this year’s Bo’ness Children’s Fair Festival – one of the biggest children’s events in Europe (www.thefairday.com)
Said Adrian: “Kinneil House was used an early backdrop for the Fair. With the flags and banners up for this year’s festival, we thought it was a good time to re-open up this wonderful building to visitors. We hope lots of people will come along to tour the House, see its wonderful painted rooms and listen to great music. Best of all, admission is completely free.”
Kinneil House – which sits in a public park, Kinneil Estate – was once home to the powerful Hamilton family. It also provided the residence for Dr John Roebuck, the founder of the Carron Company in Falkirk.
The site also boasts the remains of a Roman fortlet and medieval church and a workshop cottage used by the inventor James Watt. Watt did some of his early work to develop the steam engine at Kinneil.
Kinneil House was saved from demolition in the 1930s when the rare Renaissance wall paintings were re-discovered. It’s now cared for by Historic Scotland. The surrounding park and museum is run by Falkirk Community Trust on behalf of Falkirk Council.
Saturday’s event is one of eight open events in 2014. To find out more about Kinneil – and the free open days – please visit www.kinneil.org.uk/freein2014 – or pick up a leaflet from local libraries and museums.
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 and 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.
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