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 http://www.kinneil.org.uk

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 http://www.festivalofmuseums.com

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MORE INFORMATION:

 

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Children give their verdict on Kinneil House and Museum

Kinneil House exterior
Kinneil House exterior

The Friends of Kinneil charity has been working with local children to raise the profile of Kinneil House in Bo’ness. Supported by Historic Scotland and Falkirk Community Trust, the group organised a special schools day in May this year. Comments from visiting children from Bo’ness Public School are published below.

The School’s primary four is doing a project on the House, Museum and Estate – and the Roman occupiers of the land nearly 2000 years ago. As part of The Friends’ outreach work, the charity paid for a Roman soldier, a member of the Antonine Guard re-enactment group, to visit the school. The Friends also organised for archaeologist Geoff Bailey from Falkirk Community Trust to meet the children and show them Roman artefacts.

One of the Friends’ volunteers, Yvonne McBlain, visited the school dressed as Kinneil House’s “White Lady” – Lady Alice Lilbourne, who is said to haunt the House and its grounds. In addition, members of the Falkirk District Wargames Club – who regularly stage Roman war games during Big Roman Week –  visited the children. Youngsters were also allowed to create Kinneil models, and take them home.

We hope you enjoy reading the children’s feedback below. They clearly enjoyed their project and we hope they will return to Kinneil soon.

If you feel inspired to visit Kinneil, visit our homepage and click through for current open days at Kinneil House. You can also visit Kinneil Museum all year, normally Mondays to Saturdays from 12.30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to House and Museum is free.

* Inspired by the youngsters, below? Leave comments on Kinneil Museum on TripAdvisor. (Currently there isn’t a listing for Kinneil House at present.) You can also email The Friends of Kinneil via: info@kinneil.org.uk

Quote about Kinneil House from Noah Grieve


OUR VISIT TO KINNEIL BY CHILDREN FROM PRIMARY FOUR AT BO’NESS PUBLIC SCHOOL

  • P4 visited the fabulous historic place of Kinneil House on Friday the 15th of May 2015. My favourite part was when we went to the Museum because I learned lots of things from Geoff Bailey the brilliant archaeologist. He showed us weird handcuffs. Before we did went a treasure hunt around Kinneil House. I liked the absolutely gorgeous paintings. I saw stuffed animals. I also saw beautiful paintings too. I enjoyed learning about Kinneil House. I hope you have as much fun as I did at Kinneil House. By Ami Torrance
  • Me and P4 went to Kinneil House. P4 enjoyed the journey to Kinneil House. We were split into three groups for a treasure hunt we had to find every picture on the sheet paper with the photos. By Andrew Heeps
  • I visited Kinneil House on Friday the 15th of May 2015. I saw all the rooms, they were quite big. My favourite room was the painted room because there were flowers and animals all over the walls. We also did a Kinneil House topic, my favourite part of that was when an archaeologist called Geoff Baily came into our class and showed us lots of artefacts of the Romans time. I loved Kinneil House and my topic. By Annabel Robb
  • We went to Kinneil House on the 15th May 2015. I saw a crossbow in the museum. My favourite thing was being on Jesus cross. It was in the House. I really enjoyed my visit. By Ben Hyslop
  • Hi everyone I’m Cerys and I visited Kinneil House on Friday 15th of May 2015. My favourite thing was when we saw Geoff Bailey in the museum and he showed us lots of cool Roman artefacts. I got to hold all of them. This is interesting because I have never seen anything like it before. This is why you really have to go to Kinneil House. By Cerys McCormack
  • I visited Kinneil House on Friday 15th 2015 may my favourite part was in the Kitchen part and I really liked seeing the white lady and I loved the roman part because I never knew stuff about the romans and Mrs Mc Blain was amazing at acting so that was really good and the primary 4 wants to say thank you I had a great time I wish we could have more trips at Kinneil House because all they trips were fun the white lady looked real but she was not real she probably died 20090 from the olden day she lived in Kinneil House but she didn’t want to live there but her husband made her so she jumped out of the window and ran away then she sat in a chair then she saw a roman they smiled at each other and she was in a farm with cows and sheep’s. By Courtney Hill
  • I visited Kinneil House on Friday the 15th of May 2015. I saw the Arbour room and all the other rooms. I also found a spider on the roof of Kinneil House. My favourite was the museum. Although I liked Geoff Bailey the archaeologist. My favourite part was the room that told a story. It did not speak but the story was told in picture on the wall. By Erin Kivlin
  • We visited Kinneil House on Friday the 15th of May 2015.I saw the beautiful paintings in the Arbour Room, there were some weird paintings and some nice paintings. My favourite part was when we got to go to the museum and see the dead stuffed animals. This was because I like animals and I enjoyed seeing them close up. By Fiona Mitchell
  • I visited Kinneil House on Friday 15th May 2015. I saw the new refurbished museum and the beautiful painted rooms. My favourite part was the artefacts and painted rooms because the paintings have stories behind them. The artefacts are used weirdly but they’re beautifully polished and made. By Fraser Oswald P4
  • We visited Kinneil House on Friday the 15th of May 2015.My favourite part was looking around. I liked when we went to the museum with Geoff Bailey and looked at objects from the past. I liked looking at objects past because I have never seen any of these objects. By Harrison Murray
Romans marching at Kinneil
Romans marching at Kinneil
  • P4 visited Kinneil House on Friday 15th of May. In Kinneil Museum there was fun games and colouring in. My favourite parts were the beautiful paintings decorated all over the palace. The paintings were all over the place in nearly every room. There was amazing bits or stone with marks and lines. Over all I enjoyed our trip.  By Joe Lyall
  • We visited Kinneil House on Friday 15th of May 2015.My favourite part was the house because I like exploring and Looking at the paintings because they were interesting. I didn’t like all the stuffed animals because it was very sad. By Jorja Aitken
  • Me and my class went to Kinneil House on May the 15th 2015. I saw the museum a catapult stuffed animals sail shells and artefacts. They were all exhibits. I had a lot of fun at Kinneil House. By Katie Brand
  • I visited Kinneil House on 15th of May 2015.I saw the kitchen, the Arbour  and the Kinneil. I saw all of the beautiful paintings. I also saw the catapult. My favourite part was when we went to do the treasure hunt in Kinneil House. By Louis Chapoy
  • We visited Kinneil House on Friday the 15th of May 2015. I loved all the amazing old pictures and every one of them holds a story. The palace was beautiful to explore and investigate all the stuff that had been used by all the families that lived there. The museum was full of old stuff and models. If you go to Kinneil House I hope you get all the information that I got because I think Kinneil House is excellent. By Lucy Hellen
  • Primary 4 visited Kinneil House on the 15th of May 2015. I got to see inside the museum and have a shot of a catapult. I liked inside the museum because it was interesting upstairs looking at the church bells. I liked the treasure hunt because it was good fun. I never liked inside Kinneil House because I almost fell down the stairs. By McKenzie Walker
  • My topic was Kinneil House. I learned a lot. We got lots of visitors. One of them was Joe who dressed up us a Roman Soldier. He brought in lots of swords and shields. He got one big sword and shield. Another visitor called Geoff Bailey came he was an archaeologist. He brought in lots of cool artefacts that some people dug up. Some artefacts were owned by the Romans. By Morgan Rose
  • The brilliant Kinneil House is good for a relaxing day. The artefacts are brilliant and Geoff Bailey will tell you about them all. The paintings are inspirational and I think you should go. By Noah Grieve

Quote about Kinneil by Zara Murphy

  • I liked going to Kinneil House because I liked seeing all of the paintings. The bedrooms were beautiful with all the paintings. The kitchen was really good seeing all the food. By Paige Vallely
  • Hello everybody my name is Peter and I am going to tell you about Kinneil House. I went there on Friday 15th May 2015. There are lots of fun. Geoff Bailey the archaeologist was very helpful I saw a catapult and a lot of beautiful and amazing pictures. Thank you for listening. By Peter Kiss
  • I visited Kinneil House on Friday 15th May 2015. I saw lots of different artefacts they were very interesting  because they looked mysterious. My favourite part was looking at the paintings because I had never seen anything like it before. By Rhys King
  • We visited Kinneil House on May 15th 2015. I saw boulders in the kitchen and grave stones in the kitchen. My favourite part of the trip was going to the museum because there was a lot of interesting things to see. By Rhys McCallum
  • I visited Kinneil House on Friday 15th 2015 May. My favourite part was seeing the White Lady in our class well she was really Yvonne McBlain. She was amazing at acting she was AWESOME . We also saw Geoff the archaeologist he was AWESOME too. This is because the artefacts he showed us where amazing. By Zara Murphy
  • P4 visited Kinneil house we explored Kinneil house. Kinneil house was very interesting the artefacts were brilliant. All the rooms were interesting because the paintings looked new. When we were in the artefacts room it look awesome. By Jack Johnston
Arbour Room, Kinneil House.
Arbour Room, Kinneil House.
  • Primary 4 visited Kinneil House on Friday 15th of May. My favourite part was going inside the house. This was because I liked learning about the rooms. They were interesting because I have never seen them before. It was a great trip. By Kiera Burns P4
  • I visited Kinneil House on Friday 15th May 2015. I saw the Roman Fort. I thought a war happened. My favourite part was looking at the artefacts. I thought they were spectacular. By Cloe Peretto
  • I visited Kinneil House on Friday the 15th May 2015 I saw the painted rooms, the kitchen and the servant stairs. I really liked the museum because you got to see real dead animals and a bell from the church it was so much fun. When you go to Kinneil house I hope you enjoy it like I did. By Reese McAvoy
  • Primary Four went to Kinneil House on the 15th May 2015. I saw the beautiful paintings and we saw an archaeologist called Geoff Bailey. He was cool, because he explained and showed us artefacts. My favourite part was the museum because it has very cool ornaments and exhibits. By Amy Evans

* Inspired by the youngsters? Leave comments on Kinneil Museum on TripAdvisor. (Currently there isn’t a listing for Kinneil House at present.) You can also email The Friends of Kinneil via: info@kinneil.org.uk

John Muir Way events

Events are taking place at Kinneil and around Falkirk District to mark the first anniversary of the launch of the new John Muir Way.

They include a free open weekend at Kinneil House on April 18 and 19, 2015:

  • Kinneil House will be open from noon to 3 p.m. (last admission 2.30 p.m.) on April 18 and 19, 2015.
  • The House features renaissance wall paintings, dating back to the 16th century.
  • The Weekend will also feature performances from costumed interpreter, plus ranger walks, and giveaways (see below for info on a free prize draw).
  • The revamped Kinneil Museum, next door to the House, will also be open both afternoons.

Read the news release about the open weekend here.

If you’re visiting the House and its surrounding Kinneil Estate for the first time, get directions here.

SUNDAY, APRIL 19 – SPECIAL FREE DRAW FOR KIDS!

Thanks to a donation from SNH and Bo’net, we’ve got John Muir books and other nature goodies to give away in a free prize draw at Kinneil House. Come along – you could win a prize!

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Scroll down for information on other John Muir events around Falkirk District. You’ll also find details in this newsletter from Bo’net (PDF).

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IT’S been a year since the launch of the John Muir Way: Scotland’s coast-to-coast trail stretching 134 miles (or 215 km) across Scotland’s heartland. The Way runs between Helensburgh in the west through to Dunbar on the east coast and Muir’s birthplace.

Walkers, cyclists and horse riders can enjoy the coastal scenery, sweeping landscapes, wildlife sites and historic visitor attractions across Scotland’s heartland.

From the Clyde coast the route travels inland to Gouk Hill with splendid views of Scotland’s first national park – Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. John Muir would surely approve!

Moving east the route takes in the unique Falkirk Wheel, the Roman remains of the Antonine Wall, Arthur’s Seat volcano in Edinburgh, and on to the rocky coastline of Dunbar, where Muir played as a boy.

To mark the first anniversary, SNH and partners are running events and activities around the Way, helping people celebrate Muir’s love of the outdoors. Find out more about what’s on at:
www.snh.gov.uk/johnmuir2015

There is also a dedicated website for this way-marked route. It provides people with all sorts of useful information on completing all or part of the Way, places to stop for a bite to eat and local points of interest worth a visit.  Much of the Way links with public transport, making it easy to reach, so why not give it a go this spring? www.johnmuirway.org

LOCAL EVENTS AROUND THE FALKIRK COUNCIL AREA – 2015

HERE are some of the local events taking place to mark the first anniversary of the opening of the John Muir Way.

kinneilcover1.jpgSaturday, April 18
The Kelpies turn purple for the John Muir Way anniversary. Helix Park, Falkirk, (time TBC). www.thehelix.co.uk

Kinneil House Open Day, Kinneil Estate, Bo’ness, noon to 3 p.m. See inside this renaissance building, right beside the John Muir Way, for free.
www.kinneil.org.uk

Sunday, April 19
John Muir Way “Walk Falkirk Challenge”, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Join Falkirk Council Ranger Service on the first leg of a walk of around 11 miles along the John Muir Way in Falkirk district, from Banknock heading east. The walk will stop for a short break at Falkirk Wheel at lunchtime (bring your own picnic).  En route walkers will learn about Falkirk’s history and wildlife. Booking essential. More information: 01324 504950 or email:
rangers@falkirk.gov.uk

Kinneil House Open Day, Kinneil Estate, Bo’ness, noon to 3 p.m. See inside this renaissance building for free – and go for a walk along the John Muir Way in the grounds of the surrounding Kinneil Estate and neighbouring Nature Reserve.
www.kinneil.org.uk

Monday, April 20
Toddling O’Clock – Poppy’s Garden,
10.30 a.m. Callendar House, Falkirk. Sensory drama, music and a mini-adventure for two to five-year-olds and their adult. More information: Cost £3.50 (admits one child and up to two adult carers). Booking essential: call the Steeple Box Office on 01324 506850

Friday, April 24
John Muir Way Badger Watch,  7.45 p.m. Muiravonside Country Park near Whitecross. Suitable for adults and children six years and over. Price £3 per person. Booking essential: call the Steeple Box Office on 01324 506850
www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org/heritage

Saturday, April 25
Environmental Festival, Callendar House, Falkirk 10 a.m. Come along and meet representatives from Falkirk Community Trust, the Forestry Commission, Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre, the RSPB, the local Nature Fest festival and Scottish Badgers in front of Callendar House. Find out how to become more eco-friendly, make use of your parks and woodlands, and re-discover nature. Call Callendar House on 01324 503770.
www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org/heritage

The people of Blackness and Bo’ness mark the first anniversary of the John Muir Way with a community walk from Carriden, Bo’ness, to Blackness Castle. Leaves at Carriden Church car park at 1 pm. (There will also be activities around the church from late morning.) Round trip, around five miles. Bring a picnic to enjoy in the castle grounds.
http://j.mp/blackness-walk

Sunday, April 26
Music session with Falkirk Folk Club, featuring Carron Cast. Corbie Inn, Corbiehall, Bo’ness, from 8 p.m. to midnight. Free. The real ale pub, which also boasts a micro-brewery, is just off the John Muir Way.
www.corbieinn.co.uk

Get on your Way to Kinneil for a world-class weekend

  • Open afternoons at Kinneil House on April 18 and 19
  • Events mark World Heritage Day and first anniversary of launch of John Muir Way
  • Costumed interpreter, ranger walks, and giveaways (see info).
  • Free admission to House and revamped Kinneil Museum
  • House open noon to 3 p.m. both days – museum open until 4 p.m.

maria-ford-at-kinneil-house-300dpi-finalHistoric Kinneil House in Bo’ness is opening its doors for free tours this weekend. Visitors will be able to see inside the A-listed mansion, meet a costumed interpreter and tour the surrounding parklands.

There will also be giveaways and a free draw for children’s books.

The afternoon events have been organised to mark World Heritage Day (April 18) and the first anniversary of the launch of the John Muir Way. The Roman Antonine Wall – a World Heritage Site – runs through the grounds of Kinneil, as does the 134-mile Way.

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 18 and 19, 2015).

Volunteer guides from The Friends of Kinneil will tell visitors about the mansion’s amazing history, dating back to the 15th century.

The House was once home to the powerful Hamilton family. Historic Scotland Ranger Service will also be on hand to give tours around the surrounding estate, which boasts the ruins of a medieval church and a Roman fortlet. The revamped Kinneil Museum (next to the House) will also be open both days from 12.30 p.m.

The events have been organised by The Friends of Kinneil charity and Historic Scotland, with the support of Falkirk Community Trust, Scottish Natural Heritage and Falkirk Council.

Maria Ford (pictured) from The Friends of Kinneil said: “We’re really looking forward to our open weekend. It celebrates Kinneil’s position as part of a World Heritage Site, as well as its location along the John Muir Way, which has attracted lots of new visitors to the area since its launch last year.

“As well as providing free House tours we’ll be giving away Antonine Wall stickers, pens, flags and leaflets – and also John Muir books in a free draw. I’d like to thank Historic Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage for the giveways and their ongoing support. We’ll also have a costumed interpreter playing Anne, Duchess of Hamilton – one of the key figures associated with Kinneil House.

“Our open days are usually busy and I would encourage people to come along early and enjoy the free tours. We’ll be opening the House at noon on Saturday and Sunday, April 18 and 19, with the last admission at 2.30 p.m. on both days.

“Historic Scotland Rangers will also provide tours of the estate, and Kinneil Museum will be open both afternoons. It’s recently been refreshed with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and is well worth a visit. “Best of all – admission to the House and Museum – and those tours of the surrounding area are all free of charge.”

Amy Mack, Regional Tourism and Community Manager for Historic Scotland, said: “The Friends of Kinneil put a lot of time and effort into making the open days such a success. I’d like to thank the charity’s volunteers for all their hard work to make visits to Kinneil so memorable for all our guests.”

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ABOUT 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). ** Kinneil Museum, next to Kinneil House, is open all year, normally from Mondays to Saturdays from 12.30 p.m. to 4 p.m. (as well as at additional times to tie in with House open days). The museum is run by Falkirk Community Trust on behalf of Falkirk Council. Find out more at http://www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org.uk/heritage

** Kinneil House, Museum 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. The John Muir Way also runs through the site. Find out more at http://www.kinneil.org.uk and http://www.antoninewall.org and http://www.johnmuirway.org

** For satellite navigation devices, use the postcode EH51 0PR. See our map page. johnmuir-promo1.jpg

The Friends of Kinneil is a registered charity Charity Registration Number : SC038368 Visit us online at: www.kinneil.org.uk Email us: info@kinneil.org.uk

Action plan to promote Scotland’s Roman Wall

1-kinneil-fortlet300dpirgbA local action plan to promote and enhance sites along the Roman Antonine Wall – including Kinneil Estate – has been supported by Falkirk Council.

New signs, better interpretation – and possibly a national trail along the Antonine Wall – are some of the ideas being proposed by a five-year action plan for the World Heritage Site, approved by councillors.

Falkirk Council’s Executive Committee also gave the green light to officers building better relationships with staff working on Hadrian’s Wall in England, and bidding to attract new external funding into the Scottish site, which dates back to 142AD.

The full story is on the Council website.

The local action plan is also online.

(Pictured: Kinneil Roman Fortlet, part of the Antonine Wall.)