Estate, Friends, History, Kinneil House, Kinneil Museum

Kinneil House to re-open free for Silent Film Festival Saturday

Discover Kinneil House’s unique 16th/17th-Century painted rooms

Kinneil House will re-open free this Saturday, 25 March – the first public opening of 2023.

Historic Environment Scotland, supported by volunteers from the Friends of Kinneil, will be welcoming visitors to the house from 10am-4pm.

For this open day only, there is no need to book, and free admission, but no formal guided tours – just turn up and wander inside.

Visitors will be able to see the renowned 16th/17th-Century painted rooms and to discover some of the other history of the site. All ages welcome. The adjacent Kinneil Museum will also be open free. Details of the open day, and on future 2023 house openings, can be found at Historic Environment Scotland’s web page for Kinneil House.

This open day is being held in support of this week’s Silent Film Festival at the historic Hippodrome Cinema in Bo’ness. Saturday evening’s film, The Man Who Laughs, is initially set in the court of King James VII (or II of England), who ruled from 1685 to 1688. This was one of the most opulent periods in the history of Kinneil House, which shortly afterwards contained several portraits of that King, including in the drawing room (now the roofless room next to the Parable Room) one of the most iconic pictures of him by Sir Godfrey Kneller, which now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London. The 4th Duke of Hamilton (1658-1712) was a prominent supporter of the King and of the Jacobite cause.

[Picture credit: © National Portrait Gallery, London, NPG666, reproduced under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 licence].

King James II by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt – oil on canvas, 1684
(No 190 in the Kinneil House inventory of 1704)