Kinneil House

Kinneil House to open free on Saturday, 25 June, for Fair weekend

Kinneil House will be open for free guided tours of its interiors on Saturday 25 June as part of the weekend of festivities surrounding Friday’s Bo’ness Fair.

Among other things, visitors will be able to see its exceptional 16th- and 17th-Century wall paintings, considered to be the finest of their period of any house in Scotland, and among the finest in Britain.

Members of Sing Forth Choir with baton bearers & 2021 Bo’ness Fair Queen, Ellie Van Der Hoek, in the 16th/17th-Century Arbour Room inside Kinneil House during Monday’s visit by Queen’s Baton Relay [Credit: Lisa Evans/Falkirk Council]

Kinneil House was built in the 1550s by the former Regent to Mary Queen of Scots, James Hamilton, who was also her cousin and at that time Heir Presumptive. It was modified in the 17th Century by Anne, Duchess of Hamilton. In the 18th Century it was the setting for James Watt’s development trials of his prototype steam engine, which later changed the world.

The open day is organised by Historic Environment Scotland. Thanks to additional support by volunteer guides from the Friends of Kinneil, further tour capacity has just become available. Booking is essential: for tour times and tickets visit their Kinneil House pages on their web site. Limited remaining availability: tours begin at 10am and the last one is at 3pm.

If visiting then make sure you also visit the adjacent Kinneil Museum (also free, 12.30-4pm), featuring the wider history of the historic town of Bo’ness and the local area.