Friends, John Muir Way, Kinneil House, museum

Stirlingshire singers to appear at historic Kinneil House

The Gargoyles of GargunnockRenaissance singers will entertain crowds at historic Kinneil House in Bo’ness this month.

The Gargoyles of Gargunnock group will appear as part of a free open day.

Visitors can step inside the mansion – and enjoy the music – from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 27. The event has been organised by the charities The Friends of Kinneil and Historic Environment Scotland.

Maria Ford from The Friends said: “We’re delighted to welcome the Gargoyles back to Kinneil this August. They specialise in Renaissance and medieval music and seem a perfect fit for the House, which dates back to the 15th century and boasts some of the best Renaissance wall paintings in Scotland.”

She added: “The group have appeared at the House over the past few seasons and have been a real hit with visitors. We’re hoping for similar success on August 27.

“Entry to the House, and to enjoy the music, will be free of charge. The last admission to the building will be 3.30 p.m. on Sunday, August 27 – so don’t be late. It will be worth coming along!”

The event will see more of the House opened to the public. Historic Environment Scotland has installed a new viewing platform in the central “Tower” section of the House to allow regular visitor access to this area for the first time.

VisitScotland’s “Coo Van” will also be in the surrounding Kinneil Estate, giving free tourist information and advice to visitors. Kinneil Museum will also be open.

Helen Rowell from the Gargoyles of Gargunnock said: “It’s great to return to Kinneil.”
The group formed in 2004 as an amateur acapella folk group.

Helen – with her fellow group members Zoe Fouracre and Elizabeth Wilkinson – says the Gargoyles are “wandering minstrels”. The ladies – who don period outfits for performances – are based in the picturesque village of Gargunnock, around four miles from Stirling.

Helen said: “We became medieval singers by accident when we agreed to perform at the Border Reivers Festival in Hawick and then discovered it was a period dress event! Since then we have sung to thousands of people at many festivals and events throughout Scotland.”

She added: “We sing songs from 13th to 17th centuries – about love and war, drinking and lust, religion and nature.

“We have sung in venues from palaces to battlefields, from old folks’ homes to community centres, from pubs to chapels and from kirks to beer tents. We research and make our own outfits and have a range from the early through late medieval and Renaissance periods.”

After the Kinneil event on August 27, the Gargoyles will perform at Cambuskenneth Abbey’s Open Day on Sunday, September 17 – and at Early Music Day at St Cecilia’s Hall in Edinburgh on October 28. Then there will be preparations for Christmas.

Helen said the past year has been very busy for the group.

“We finished the 2016 season with two fund-raising concerts, one in Cupar and one at the Smith Art Gallery in Stirling, then sang at the Burrell Collection in Glasgow before it closed for its refurbishment,” she said.

“We then started our Christmas charity appearances, three times at the Woodhouse Café in Kippen, and at Stirling farmer’s Market.”

Singing takes the three women across Scotland.

“Our 2017 summer season started in Peebles with the Traquair Medieval Festival weekend in May,” said Helen. “Then we sang for the Town Break Friendship Group in Braehead at the Rural Carers’ Group in Callander.

“If you are planning an event, and are interested in having the Gargoyles perform, then please contact us through our website.”

To find out more about Kinneil House open days, please visit

You can also get updates via social media at and

To find out more about the Gargoyles of Gargunnock, visit:

The Gargoyles of Gargunnock are pictured. From left, Helen Rowell, Zoe Fouracre and Liz Wilkinson.


  • Kinneil House, Museum 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. For directions, click here
  • The John Muir Way also runs through the site. For satellite navigation devices, use the postcode EH51 0PR. Images of Kinneil House and Estate are available on request. Email:
  • You can access a video of the Gargoyles of Gargunnock singing at Kinneil at