Doors Open Day, 14 September, and start of Big Roman Week

Historic Kinneil House will be open for free guided tours on Saturday 14 September for Doors Open Day, and with additional Roman-themed activities marking the first day of Big Roman Week.

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Free Kinneil House tours on 14 September run from 10am till 4pm, with the last admission at 3pm, and must be reserved online in advance of the tour date via www.historicenvironment.scot/events. Availability is limited, so book now to avoid disappointment. The Historic Environment Scotland (HES) booking page advises: “Please be aware that tour bookings are taken offline at midnight the day prior to the tour date. If the date you wish to book has no availability, please contact us and we will advise if an additional tour can be provided on that date. Please phone 0131 558 9326 or email communityevents@hes.scot”.

The ‘Roman Day’ aspect of the event is this year provided by the ‘Re-Discovering the Antonine Wall’ project (which is substantially funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund) team. Replica Roman tents will be on display outside the museum at Kinneil from 10am to 3pm to give an idea of what it was like for a Roman soldier to be on military campaign in Scotland.

Other Roman reproductions include a military flask, pottery and weapons. The organisers state, ‘This is your chance to handle a gladius – the short stabbing sword used by the legionaries – feel the weight. Experts will be on hand to put the objects into context and provide additional information’.

You can visit and enjoy the Roman activities even if not booked for a house tour.

Doors Open Days is Scotland’s largest free festival that celebrates heritage and the built environment. It offers free access to over a thousand venues across the country throughout September, every year. Co-ordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust, it is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Big Roman Week, organised by Falkirk Community Trust, runs from 14 to 22 September and sees a broad range of events taking place across the area, celebrating the Roman heritage surrounding the Antonine Wall World Heritage Site, which extends across Central Scotland and includes Kinneil Estate. A copy of the full programme of events (pdf) is available here – including other events in Bo’ness, and a free guided walk from Kinneil to Polmont on Sunday 15 September.

The tours inside the house are operated by HES, with some of our own volunteer guides also in support. For any queries about the house tours please contact Historic Environment Scotland, or about Big Roman Week activities please contact Falkirk Community Trust.

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