Category Archives: Inner Forth Landscape Initiative

Friends get to the art of the matter

As part of its support for Festival of Museums 2017, The Friends of Kinneil charity set up a pop-up art studio outside Kinneil Museum on Sunday.

Youngsters visiting the Museum and neighbouring Kinneil House got busy making wonderful creations. Pictures from the art session are included below. Just click any of them to see a larger version.

A big thanks to Val Lee for the pictures – and to Yvonne McBlain and all the volunteers who made Festival of Museums at Kinneil such a success.



Orchard event at Kinneil on April 1

apples2.jpgA VOLUNTEER event is being run at the new Kinneil orchard – located right behind Kinneil Museum in Bo’ness.

The event takes place between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. this Saturday, April 1. Anyone interested in finding out more about the orchard and helping out should come along.

The event has been organised by Falkirk Community Trust with the support of The Friends of Kinneil.

Ian Shearer from The Friends said: “If you are free on Saturday 1st April between 11am and 1pm why not pop round to the back of Kinneil Museum and find out more?

“We’ll be checking the trees to make sure they are healthy, putting down mulch mats to protect against weeds and carrying out some very light pruning.

“The activity is free and suitable for everyone aged six and above. Please wear sensible outdoor clothing and shoes.

“Feel free to pass this on to anyone else who you think may be interested.”

More on the event is on Facebook. Feel free to share the links.

Ian added: “!Thanks to everyone for their support, and look forward to seeing some of you there.”

Plant sale at Kinneil on June 20 and 21

freeimages-beddingplants1ssFalkirk Council’s annual plant sale takes place at Kinneil Nursery within Kinneil Estate, Bo’ness, on Saturday and Sunday, June 20 and 21, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

Please note the park is also being used for a corporate event that weekend, so it could be busier than normal. Kinneil Museum will also be open in the afternoons (so pop in after getting your plants!)

The price list is published below.

For directions to the Estate, click

Picture courtesy of



Kinneil House open this Sunday, August 31


ONE of the most historic buildings in Falkirk district is open for free tours this Sunday (August 31).

Kinneil House in Bo’ness – which boasts some of the best renaissance wall paintings in Scotland – will be open from noon to 3 p.m. (last admission 2.30 p.m.)

The event has been organised by the charity The Friends of Kinneil in association with Historic Scotland.

Neighbouring Kinneil Museum, run by Falkirk Community Trust, will also be open.

Kinneil was once the home of the powerful Hamilton family. The building has links to Mary, Queen of Scots and the inventor James Watt.

The L-shaped building, with its imposing tower and palace sections, dates back to the 15th century. It was re-modelled in the 1540s and transformed into a stately home in the 1660s.

Find out more at

A spokesman for The Friends of Kinneil said: “We’re pleased to be working with Historic Scotland to stage this special open day this Sunday.

“Volunteer guides will take people through part of the House and explain its fascinating history. Admission to the House is free of charge.

“Trains will also be running at the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway this weekend, allowing history fans to visit the Railway – get off at Kinneil Halt – and then walk up to the House for a tour. The House is also a short drive from the Helix Park and the Kelpies.”

He added: “Kinneil House is set in a wonderful park, Kinneil Estate – which has the ruins of a medieval church and the remnants of a Roman fortlet. The line of the Antonine Wall runs through the site.

“With the addition of the museum and acres of surrounding woodlands, there’s plenty for families to see and enjoy.”

  • Kinneil House and Museum is just off the A993 (Dean Road) – the main road through Bo’ness. Look out for brown tourist signs at the western side of Bo’ness. The postcode for the site is EH51 0PR.
  • For additional location information visit or call Kinneil Museum on 01506 778530.
  • To find out about trips on the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway (fares payable)
  • The Helix Park and the Kelpies is about 7 miles away from Kinneil House. Visit
  • Discover information on other local attractions at

Go back to nature this weekend at Kinneil House

kinneilposter-2014-a4-march11Free open days are taking place at historic Kinneil House and Estate in Bo’ness this weekend.

Visitors will be able to see inside the A-listed mansion, meet a costumed interpreter playing one of its former residents and tour the surrounding parklands – now part of the new John Muir Way.

Mini Kelpies from the Helix park project in Falkirk are also making an appearance. (See picture below).

The open days have been organised by The Friends of Kinneil charity and Historic Scotland – to support the John Muir Festival. Full details are online at

Kinneil House – which boasts impressive renaissance wall paintings – will be open from noon to 3 p.m. (last admission 2.30 p.m.) on Saturday and Sunday (April 26 and 27, 2014).

Maria Ford from The Friends of Kinneil said: “Kinneil House is a wonderful place to visit and I’d encourage people to come along and enjoy the free tours.

“This weekend will see the appearance of a costumed interpreter playing Anne, Duchess of Hamilton.

“John Muir may be credited as being the father of America’s national parks – but Duchess Anne was surely the ‘mother’ of Kinneil Estate. Three hundred years ago she re-shaped the look of Kinneil House and its surrounding parkland.

“An enthusiastic decorator, shopper and gardener, she delighted in making her homes the most fashionable in Scotland. Her gardens were her pride and joy, producing wonderful food and medicines for her family. We hope people will come along and hear her story this weekend – and enjoy their visit to Kinneil.”

To celebrate the launch of the new John Muir Way – the cross-country walking route (which includes Kinneil) – Historic Scotland Rangers plan to run nature walks around the surrounding estate this weekend. The RSPB will also be at Kinneil Museum to promote the Inner Forth “Futurescapes” project – making local landscapes more wildlife-friendly.

The Museum (beside Kinneil House) will be open on Saturday and Sunday afternoons to support the open days. The museum features hands-on exhibits, an audio visual show about the estate and a small retail area.

This weekend’s open days are part of a series of events in 2014. See for more details.


The Mini Kelpies at Kinneil.




** The history of Kinneil dates back to 1323 when lands were granted by King Robert The Bruce to Walter Fitzgilbert of Hamildon, the head of the family which later produced the Dukes of Hamilton.

** The Hamiltons’ main seat was in west central Scotland but over the centuries Kinneil became their base in the east. In the 1400s they built a small tower house just outside what is now Bo’ness, in an easily defensible position overlooking a ravine.

** In the late 1400s or early 1500s the tower house was enlarged. In 1553 James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran, built a palace to the north east of the tower house to its north east. In 1667, William, 3rd Duke of Hamilton and his wife Anne launched a major expansion of Kinneil House. Within a century, however, the Hamiltons had ceased to use Kinneil, and rented it out to tenants.

** Demolition work at Kinneil took place in the 1930s, but work was halted when rare renaissance wall paintings were discovered.

** The Friends of Kinneil was set up in 2006 to support and promote the development of Kinneil House and the surrounding estate and area, and to enhance and protect its heritage.

** Over the past few years it has worked with Historic Scotland to improve public access to Kinneil House, running a series of free open days. It also takes part in other activities within the estate. The Friends of Kinneil is a registered charity (Charity Registration Number: SC 038368). Find out more at

** Kinneil House 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. The site also features the ruins of a medieval church, a cottage used by inventor James Watt and evidence of a Roman fortlet, part of the Antonine Wall.

** For satellite navigation devices, use the postcode EH51 0PR.

** Images of Kinneil House and Estate are available on request from The Friends of Kinneil. Email: or download directly from (must only be used for press/editorial purposes).