See inside Kinneil House for free in 2016

Kinneil House open day dates for 2016The 2016 programme of FREE tours inside historic Kinneil House in Bo’ness has been revealed.

The mansion – which boasts some of the best renaissance wall paintings in Scotland – dates back to the 15th century and was once home to the Dukes of Hamilton.

During special open events, volunteer guides will be on hand to tell visitors about the building’s amazing history. Fans are being urged to keep in touch with updates through social media at www.facebook.com/kinneil and www.twitter.com/kinneil

The dates and times of the 2016 open days at Kinneil House are:

Last admission will be 30 minutes before the stated closing times. Click the links above for more information on specific dates.

** The May 13 event is part of a wider series of activities within Kinneil Estate.

The 2016 events have been organised by the charity The Friends of Kinneil in association with Historic Environment Scotland, which cares for Kinneil House, and Falkirk Community Trust. The House is the centrepiece of Kinneil Estate, a public park (see map for directions).

Maria Ford from The Friends said: “Around 2,000 people went on tours inside Kinneil House in 2015 – a strong increase on the previous year. We’re hoping even more people will come and see this marvellous building in 2016.

“All the open days – with the exception of a special Friday night open evening – take place at weekends. And all are free of charge.

“In response to visitor feedback, we’ve organised a mixture of Saturday and Sunday openings for 2016. We’re also starting afternoon tours a little later than usual. These times better tie in with Kinneil Museum, which will also open to support the House events. Please check individual dates for details.

“As ever, we always welcome feedback from visitors and recently set up a page of TripAdvisor to capture comments. People can also get in touch through our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter.”

IMG_7859The first event on March 19 has been organised to tie with the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema – http://www.hippfest.co.uk – running at the nearby Bo’ness Hippodrome, Scotland’s first purpose-built cinema.

Said Maria (pictured): “With lots of visitors coming to the town for the Festival, we thought it was a good idea to open Kinneil House at the same time. The March 19 morning opening will allow Festival-goers the chance to have a quick tour of this wonderful building and then go to the movies later in the day. Like the Hippodrome, Kinneil House is an A-listed building and a magnificent place to visit.”

Other Kinneil House events have also been programmed to tie in with national and local events.

A part of Kinneil’s support for Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 – Historic Scotland will be providing a costumed interpreter for the weekend open event on April 23 and 24.

Organisers will use the weekend to celebrate the work of engineer James Watt, who did early work to improve the steam engine at Kinneil.

The weekend will also fall on the week of the second anniversary of the opening of the John Muir Way, the long-distance walking route which runs right past the House.

For the Scottish Festival of Museums and the UK’s Museums at Night celebrations in May,  Kinneil House will be opening at night (on Friday, May 13). There will also be an evening opening at Kinneil Museum next door – and a bat-hunt in the grounds of the big house. The support will also support Nature-Fest, Falkirk district’s wildlife festival.

June will see Bo’ness get dressed up for its annual Children’s Fair Festival. Kinneil House – an early location for the festival – will open the Sunday after the Fair, on June 26. There will also be an additional opening on Saturday, August 27, with performances from renaissance singers The Gargoyles of Gargunnock.

In September, the House – and its wider estate – will be the focus for Big Roman Week, a festival celebrating Falkirk district’s Roman roots. A full programme of events will be revealed later this summer.

The 2016 programme will end with a Hallowe’en themed opening at Kinneil House on Sunday, October 30, 2016. The House is reputed to be haunted by the ghost of a white lady.

Amy Mack, Regional Tourism and Community Manager for Historic Scotland, said: “We’re pleased to be working with The Friends of Kinneil to run a new series of events in 2016. The events are free of charge and will offer a variety of experiences throughout the year. Look out for costumed interpreters, themed events and walks in the grounds.”

She added: “Although you can tour the grounds of Kinneil House throughout the year, you can only see inside the building on these special open days. We hope that families from across Scotland – and further afield – will pay a visit to Kinneil this year.”

Falkirk Community Trust is opening Kinneil Museum at additional times to tie in with Kinneil House open events.

For more information on open days click www.kinneil.org.uk or pick up a leaflet from libraries and local tourist attractions in the Falkirk Council area.

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NOTES TO EDITORS:

  1. The Friends of Kinneil was set up in 2006 to promote Kinneil Estate and Nature Reserve in Bo’ness. The charity organises Kinneil House open days and other events for members and visitors. (No. SC038368) To find out more, visit http://www.kinneil.org.uk
  2. Falkirk Community Trust manages Kinneil Museum and the surrounding Kinneil Estate on behalf of Falkirk Council. It also operates the Hippodrome Cinema in Bo’ness town centre and runs the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema (running this year from Wednesday, March 16 to Sunday, March 20, 2016. Find out more at falkirkcommunitytrust.org    – or go direct to the Festival page: www.hippfest.co.uk
  3. As of the 1st October 2015, Historic Scotland and RCAHMS came together to form a new lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. The new body Historic Environment Scotland (HES) will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time. The body cares for Kinneil House using the existing Historic Scotland brand. Historic Environment Scotland is a registered Scottish Charity. Scottish Charity No. SC045925. You can keep up to date with news from Historic Environment Scotland and register for media release email alerts at historic-scotland.gov.uk/news
  4. Images of Kinneil House and Estate are available on request. Email: publicity@kinneil.org.uk
  5. Kinneil House and Estate are on the western edge of Bo’ness in central Scotland, just off the A904 and A993 and are part of the Frontiers of The Roman Empire World Heritage Site. The John Muir Wayalso runs through the site. For satellite navigation devices, use the postcode EH51 0PR.
  6. Media enquiries: Maria Ford, The Friends of Kinneil, tel. 01506 510629; email: info@kinneil.org.uk . More contact details at kinneil.org.uk/friends