Kinneil is among the oldest known parishes in Scotland, long pre-dating Bo’ness.
It was referred to in the early 8th Century by the historian Bede, and is also associated with mediaeval accounts of the legend of the 6th-Century missionary, St Serf.
Kinneil may therefore have been a site of Christian worship for 1,500 years or more. The surviving ruin of Kinneil Kirk dates back to the 12th Century. The church was for many centuries a local landmark, and a beacon to shipping in the Firth of Forth.
Historian and district archaeologist Geoff Bailey has written an excellent short history of Kinneil Kirk, which was first produced for the Falkirk Local History Society.
Geoff has kindly agreed to us also making his booklet available here to the widest possible readership. Together with his history of the estate, and his wider archaeological research in the area, it will be an invaluable resource for all those interested in Kinneil’s exceptional history.
In 2014, Geoff and others undertook further excavations and preservation work at Kinneil Kirk as part of the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative, an account of which is available here. His history of the Kirk was then also published in print version by Falkirk Community Trust. Hard copies of this are available in Kinneil Museum.