Category Archives: museums at night

Two chances for free tours inside Kinneil House


Heritage fans will get two opportunities to tour a historic mansion for free this weekend.

Kinneil House in Bo’ness is running an open evening on Friday night (May 19), followed by an open afternoon on Sunday (May 21).

The events have been organised to support activities for the Festival of Museums and the Museums at Night festival, taking place at neighbouring Kinneil Museum.

Visitors will be able to see inside the mansion – which boasts some of the best renaissance wall paintings in Scotland – from 6 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. (last admission 7 p.m.) on Friday – and then from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (last admission 3.30 p.m.) on Sunday.

Kinneil House is the centrepiece of Kinneil Estate, a historic park on the western edge of Bo’ness.

Volunteers from the charity The Friends of Kinneil run tours inside the House on special open days, working in association with Historic Environment Scotland and Falkirk Community Trust.

For more information, visit




Fun for all the family during Festival of Museums

IMG_4066 (1)Families are set to flock to local heritage sites as one of Scotland’s biggest cultural festivals gets underway.

Kinneil House and Museum in Bo’ness, the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway and Callendar House in Falkirk are just some of the attractions taking part in this year’s Festival of Museums.

Organisers say the Scotland-wide event is the biggest ever. It kicks off on Friday, May 19 and runs until Sunday, May 21.

The festival aims to encourage more people to visit local cultural bases and see what they have to offer.

Kinneil House and Museum is supporting the initiative with two free events – one of the evening of Friday, May 19, and a second on the afternoon of Sunday, May 21.

The open evening promises a “bat walk” – searching for the creatures who roost in Kinneil House – plus House tours, quizzes in Kinneil Museum and free goody bags.

The Museum will be open from 6-9 p.m. on May 19, with the neighbouring House running tours between 6 and 7.30 p.m. (last House admission 7 p.m.). Anyone interested in the bat/nature walk should be at the Museum for 8.30 p.m. Children must be accompanied.

A second event takes place on Sunday, May 21. Kinneil House will be open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (last admission 3.30 p.m.) There will be arts and crafts activities for children – and more goody bags at the museum (while stocks last). Plus a car from Bo’ness Motor Museum and classic cars from the Bo’ness Hill Climb will be visiting the site for the afternoon event.

There will also be a pop-up café in the museum on both days.

Adrian Mahoney from The Friends of Kinneil – helping to organise the events – said: “We hope lots of local people will support these Festival of Museum activities. We’ve been working closely with Historic Environment Scotland and Falkirk Community Trust to deliver our 2017 programme. New areas of Kinneil House have gone on show this year and we’ll also showcasing recent improvements at Kinneil Museum. Come along and support these facilities. Admission is free of charge.”

He added: “We’d also like to thank Falkirk Council’s Ranger service who will be delivering the bat/nature walk around the park on Friday night. Hopefully, we get good weather and we see lots of bats!

“For more information – and updates – please check our website

Callendar House in Falkirk is supporting the Festival of Museums with a new exhibition recreating part of the Roman Antonine Wall, which ran from Bo’ness to Old Kilpatrick, near Glasgow.

The exhibition, launching on Saturday, May 20, will feature a splendid griffin figurine, that provided the crest of a Roman cavalry helmet, found at Polmont.

The Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway is taking on a Victorian air for its Festival of Museums event on Sunday, May 21. A punch and judy show, brass rubbing, and performances from Victorian-style volunteers have been promised.

Organisers say the local activities are some of the 120 plus events being delivered this year for Festival of Museums around Scotland. Evening events also support the UK’s Museums at Night Festival, running over the same weekend.

The Scottish co-ordinators, Museums Galleries Scotland, says the 2017 programme caters to all ages and interests and includes everything from historical re-enactments and night-time murder mysteries to children’s storytelling and arts and crafts.

Joanne Orr, Chief Executive of Museums Galleries Scotland, said: “Festival of Museums is about igniting imaginations and celebrating creativity whilst showcasing Scotland’s wealth of culture and heritage. Our packed programme features engaging, surprising and entertaining events over three action-packed days in museums across Scotland. Get involved and come and see what Scotland’s museums have to offer.”

For a full programme of events, please visit

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Your chance to win prizes


If you attended the Festival of Museums night-time event at Kinneil House and Museum on May 16, there’s a chance to win some prizes.

Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS), co-ordinating the Festival, are running a survey on participating events. Give some feedback and you could win £100 worth of High Street vouchers.

Simply click:

MGS is also running a prize draw on Twitter to win a Museums Mystery Box packed full of museums goodies!

Remember to include the hashtag #FoM2014 or @Festofmuseums (and also add @kinneil to let us know!)

Full details are online at

(Please note that both competitions are run across Scotland – and not just for those attending the Kinneil event.)

Free fun events at Kinneil this Friday

A BAT walk, goodie bags, musical entertainment and free tours of a historic house are being lined up for a special open evening this weekend.

Kinneil House and its neighbouring Museum in Bo’ness are both staging special events as part of the Scotland-wide Festival of Museums and the UK’s Museums at Night celebrations.

The A-listed Kinneil House – which boasts fine renaissance wall paintings – will be open for free tours from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday (May 16), with a last admission at 6.30 p.m.

The event will be complemented by an evening opening at Kinneil Museum, in the 17th century building next door. Visitors will be able to claim free goodie bags (subject to availability), try some of the hands on-displays, or even dress up in Roman gear. The Museum will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday.

The evening will end with a free nature walk around the surrounding Kinneil Estate, and a hunt for bats! Bat fans should be ready to leave Kinneil Museum for 8.45 p.m. (Children under 16 must be accompanied by adults, and sadly dogs aren’t allowed in case they scare the bats!)

The Friends of Kinneil charity has been helping to organise the event in association with Falkirk Community Trust, Falkirk Council and Historic Scotland.

Said a spokesman: “It’s the third year we’ve worked with the Trust and partners to open Kinneil Museum at night.

“As an added attraction, we’re giving visitors the chance to also see inside the amazing Kinneil House. Since parts of this old building don’t have electric lights, we’re only doing this for the first hour – so if you want to see the House come along early!

“We’ll also be giving away free goodie bags to adults and children – packed with local information and some great treats. Kinneil Youth Band are also expected to entertain people outside Kinneil Museum around 7 p.m.”

He added: “The new John Muir Way runs through Kinneil. Given the interest in the natural history of the surrounding park, we’ll finish Friday’s event with a nature walk around the estate – and hopefully spotting some bats as dusk falls.

“Full details are on our website – .

“All the events are free, and there’s no need to book, just turn up.”

The evening event at Kinneil will complement further activities at Callendar House and Park in Falkirk over the weekend. Details at or from



1. The Friends of Kinneil was set up in 2006 to promote Kinneil Estate and Foreshore in Bo’ness. The charity organises Kinneil House open days and other events for members and visitors. (No. SC038368) To find out more, visit:

2. Falkirk Community Trust manages Kinneil Museum and the surrounding Kinneil Estate on behalf of Falkirk Council. Find out more:

3.Historic Scotland, which cares for Kinneil House, is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament. For more information visit Follow Historic Scotland on Twitter: @welovehistory and Facebook:

4. Images of Kinneil House and Estate are available on request. Email:   or download directly (free for editorial use) from:

5. Kinneil Estate is on the western edge of Bo’ness in central Scotland, just off the A904 and A993 and is part of the Frontiers of The Roman Empire World Heritage Site. For satellite navigation devices, use the postcode EH51 0PR.