Tag Archives: Bo’ness

Do a House call at Kinneil this Saturday


One of Falkirk district’s most historic buildings is opening its doors for free tours this weekend.

Kinneil House in Bo’ness – which boasts amazing renaissance wall paintings – will be open from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 19, 2016 (last admission 11.30 a.m.)

The open morning is to support the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema, which is also taking place in the town this week.

Saturday’s event is one of eight open events at Kinneil in 2016. They have been organised by The Friends of Kinneil in association with Historic Environment Scotland and Falkirk Community Trust.

A Friends spokesperson said: “We’re looking forward to Saturday’s open morning. Hopefully lots of local people will come along. There’s no need to book tickets, just turn up – although children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Kinneil Museum will also be open from 10 a.m. to support the House event.”

The House is located within the historic Kinneil Estate, on the western edge of Bo’ness. More details are online at www.kinneil.org.uk/freein2016 

Leaflets are also available from local tourist offices and libraries.

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 www.kinneil.org.uk/map

Picture courtesy of http://j.mp/1cLn1Rh



Inner Forth BioBlitz this Saturday

Kinneil Nature Reserve

Kinneil Nature Reserve

The Inner Forth Landscape Initiative is running a “BioBlitz” at Kinneil Nature Reserve (Foreshore) this Saturday.

It is being supported by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Kate Fuller, IFLI Community Engagement Officer, says: “On Saturday, June 6, we will be at the Kinneil Local Nature Reserve by Bo’ness. Our gazebo will be set up near to the Snab Lane entrance to the site. You can join us from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.

“This event is part of IFLI’s Forth Nature Counts project which aims to increase the number of verified biological records within the Inner Forth area for conservation gain.

“As part of this project we are running a series of free wildlife identification and survey skills workshops and inviting members of the public to submit their ad-hoc wildlife sightings to the Inner Forth Nature Counts form on iRecord.

“Nature records inputted through this form will help the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative to build a better picture of wildlife found throughout the landscape. You don’t have to sign up to use the form, but you do need to input a valid email address so that you get feedback once your nature record is verified. Verified records will be passed to the National Biodiversity Network Gateway and will be available for conservation agencies, local authorities and land managers to use, helping them to make informed decisions.”

New James Watt banknote launched

Chris Salmon of The Bank of England with the new £50 note. Copyright: The Bank of EnglandA NEW £50 note featuring inventor James Watt – who did early work at Kinneil Estate in Bo’ness – has gone into circulation.

The new Bank of England note portrays the Scottish engineer alongside business associate Matthew Boulton.

Watt went into partnership with Boulton in the late 18th century – after an earlier partnership with local industrialist Dr John Roebuck hit financial problems.

Dr. Roebuck, who lived at Kinneil House, had invested in Watt to improve the steam engine to help pump water out of local coal mines.

Sadly, Roebuck’s leased pits continued to flood, he went bankrupt and had to pass his share of Watt’s patent to Boulton, in lieu of a debt he couldn’t pay.

And so the partnership of Watt and Boulton was born.

James Watt worked in a small outhouse at Kinneil Estate. The cottage survives to this day. (For more see www.kinneil.org.uk/jameswatt)

Mervyn King said, the Governor of the Bank of England, said: “The Bank is delighted to acknowledge the invaluable contribution that Boulton and Watt made to the advancement of engineering by featuring them on the new £50 banknote.

“Boulton and Watt’s steam engines and their many other innovations were essential factors in the nation’s Industrial Revolution. The partnership of an innovator and an entrepreneur created exactly the kind of commercial success that we will need in this country as we rebalance our economy over the years ahead.”

The Boulton and Watt £50 banknote has a number of notable firsts.

The new note is the first time two portraits have appeared together on the back of a Bank of England banknote.

It is also the first note to be signed by Chris Salmon (pictured above), who was appointed as the Bank’s Executive Director for Banking Services and Chief Cashier in April 2011. He said: “The Boulton and Watt £50 banknote has new and enhanced security features which demonstrate the Bank’s commitment to its role of maintaining public confidence in the currency. The motion thread security feature is one of the new measures which should help members of the public to identify genuine £50 banknotes.”

Boulton and Watt – a brief background

Matthew Boulton and James Watt were responsible for accelerating the progress of manufacturing steam engines during the 18th and 19th century. Their inventions and improvements to this technology helped make a huge contribution to the progress of the Industrial Revolution.

James Watt (1736-1819) Engineer and Scientist

  • James Watt was the great improver, not the inventor, of the steam engine. While repairing a Newcomen steam engine he was struck by the considerable steam wastage inherent in its design and realised that it could be made more efficiently.
  • Progress in this development was slow until he entered into partnership with Matthew Boulton in 1775, with Boulton providing many suggestions for improving Watt’s engines.
  • Encouraged by Boulton, Watt developed an engine for the textile industry in 1774, patenting the invention in 1781.
  • Watt introduced the term ‘horsepower’ and the metric unit of power is named after him.
  • Watt was involved in several civil engineering projects during his life, the most significant of which was a survey and estimate in 1773 for a canal between Fort William and Inverness. The canal was constructed in the early 19th century and named the Caledonian Canal.

The new £50 note

The new £50 note - copyright of The Bank of England

The separate portraits of Boulton and Watt are developed from images held by the Bank of England (Bank of England copyright). The image of the Soho Manufactory, where Boulton produced small metalware and which became the first steam-powered mint and another, of the Whitbread steam engine designed by Boulton and Watt and installed by Samuel Whitbread in his London brewery, are worked from images owned by Birmingham City Council. Permission to use these two images was kindly given by the Council.

Find out more about James Watt and his connections with Kinneil Estate. Visit Kinneil Museum, usually open throughout the year from Monday to Saturday (12.30 p.m.  to 4 p.m.) Admission free. www.kinneil.org.uk/attractions

* This is the second banknote to have Kinneil connections. In 2009, the Clydesdale Bank issued its own £50 note featuring an illustration of the Kinneil Roman fortlet, as part of a series on Scottish World Heritage Sites. See our story here.

(Images and some text courtesy of – and copyright of  – the Bank of England.)

Big Roman Week 2011

bigromanweek-iconweb>> ARCHIVE PAGE >> DETAILS OF THE 2011 EVENT BELOW

>> VISIT www.bigromanweek.org.uk FOR THE 2012 EVENT


To mark the birthday of Emperor Antoninus Pius – who built his Roman frontier across Falkirk district –  we’re organising a series of events to celebrate our rich Roman heritage. Welcome to the third Big Roman Week. From September 19, 2011 AD.




ALL WEEK – Roman display in Bo’ness Library, Scotland’s Close, Bo’ness, EH51 0AH. You can also see Roman exhibitions at Callendar Park, Falkirk, FK1 1YR; and Kinneil Museum, Kinneil Estate, Bo’ness, EH51 0PR. For opening times, visit www.falkirk.gov.uk/libraries and www.falkirk.gov.uk/cultural

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2011 – MEET THE ROMANS. Meet members of the Antonine Guard Roman re-enactment group at Callendar House Museum from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on September 19. The Guard then moves to Bo’ness to drop into a community consultation event at the Bridgeness Miners’ Welfare Club, Harbour Road, Bo’ness, EH51 9LF (runs from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.). Bo’ness Community Council will talk about its plans to bring a replica of the Roman Bridgeness Slab (one of Britain’s best Roman relics) to the town.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 – THE BRIDGENESS SLAB. Public meeting organised by Bo’ness Community Council to update local residents on the plans to bring a replica Roman tablet to the town. View the plans, get an update on progress, and hear from representatives from the Council and National Museum of Scotland (which hosts the real Slab). At Bridgeness Miners’ Welfare Club, from 7.30 p.m.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 – STEP BACK IN TIME. Join members of the Step Forth group on a health walk around historic Kinneil Estate in Bo’ness, which features the remains of a Roman fortlet. There’s also a chance to see the Roman exhibition within the museum after the walk (the walk takes approx 45 minutes.) Meet at the Museum at 2 p.m. www.kinneil.org.uk/walk

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 – BUILDING THE WALL. Archaeologist Geoff Bailley gives a talk on the Antonine Wall. At Bo’ness Library, Scotland’s Close, Bo’ness, EH51 OAH, from 2 p.m. Tickets, free, available from the library. Telephone: 01506 778520. www.falkirk.gov.uk/libraries

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 – BIG ROMAN DAY. Fun for all the family in Bo’ness Town Centre. Charity market and other activities. From noon to 4 p.m. More details on this event will be posted on this website soon.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 – “A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM” (PG). Film version of the award-winning stage show, starring Phil Silvers and a young Michael Crawford, in a farce set in ancient Rome. With Oscar-winning music from Stephen Sondheim. At Barony Theatre, Borrowstoun Road, Bo’ness EH51 9RS. Film starts at 7.30 p.m. Admission £4 at the door.  Watch the trailer on IMDB.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 – IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ROMANS. Join historian Ian Scott and members of The Friends of Kinneil on a walk to the Rough Castle Roman fort. Leaves from outside the Falkirk Wheel Visitor Centre at 2 p.m. (The event ties in with a separate family fun day being held at the Wheel that afternoon by the Seagull Trust. Includes a re-appearance from the Antonine Guard from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Falkirk Wheel. Download a PDF about the family fun day – or read the news release online.) The Falkirk Wheel is at Lime Road, Falkirk, FK1 4RS

All timings are subject to late change. Please check www.kinneil.org.uk for updates.

>> Click here for a map to all the event locations >>


Bridgeness Miners’ Welfare Club Harbour Road, Bo’ness, EH51 9LF

Callendar House Musuem, Callendar Park, Falkirk, FK1 1YR
Tel: 01324 503773

Kinneil Museum, Kinneil Estate, Bo’ness, EH51 0PR.
Tel: 01506 778530

Bo’ness Library, Scotland’s Close, Bo’ness, EH51 0AH.
Tel: 01506 778520

Barony Theatre, Borrowstoun Road, Bo’ness, EH51 9RS

Falkirk Wheel, Lime Road, Falkirk, FK1 4RS
Tel: 08700 500 20


The Big Roman Week has been organised by The Friends of Kinneil charity in conjunction with:

• Falkirk Community Trust www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org
• Falkirk Council www.falkirk.gov.uk
• Historic Scotland www.historic-scotland.gov.uk
• Falkirk and District Town Centre Management www.falkirkinspired.com
• Bo’ness Community Council www.bonesscc.org.uk
• The Barony Film Society / Barony Theatre www.baronyplayers.co.uk

Remembering James Watt

Lives of Boulton and WattONE of Scotland’s greatest sons is being remembered this week – exactly 275 years after he was born.

The inventor James Watt was born in Greenock on January 19, 1736.

He went on to develop and improve the steam engine – the workhorse which powered the Industrial Revolution.

On Friday (Jan 21), the charity The Friends of Kinneil in Bo’ness – where Watt worked on early steam prototypes – will celebrate the inventor’s legacy with a “James Watt Supper”, an alternative to the traditional Burns Supper.

Maria Ford, the chair of The Friends, said: “Probably very few of us have a copy of Rabbie Burns’ Complete Works in our homes – but nearly everyone will have lightbulbs measured in Watts.

“It says a lot about Watt’s legacy that a unit of power was named after him. This amazing man deserves credit for his work – and in the week of his birthday we intend to do just that.”

The Friends promote the historic Kinneil Estate in Bo’ness – dominated by the imposing Kinneil House.

Watt was invited there by a local industrialist Dr. John Roebuck, who wanted him to improve the way water was pumped out of local mines. A cottage workshop – still standing in the estate – was constructed for Watt to use. The inventor worked at Kinneil for two spells in 1769 and 1770.

Sadly, the doctor – one of the founders of the famous Carron Iron Works in Falkirk – went bankrupt in 1773 and had to sell his share in Watt’s patent to one of his creditors, a Matthew Boulton of Birmingham.

And so a new partnership was born.

Watt moved to England and the improved steam engine – further developed with the help of Matthew Boutlon – revolutionised the use of steam power in Britain’s mills and factories.

Mrs Ford said: “Had John Roebuck not hit money problems, history could have been very different. But we’re still proud of the important part Kinneil played in the story of James Watt.

“On Friday, we’ll toast his life and works – and hear some immortal memories from a local historian, Ian Scott. Some of our members will also make their own contributions as we remember how James Watt changed the world.”

The Friends have organised typical 18th century music for private party – organised for charity members and invited guests in a local church hall.

The bill of fare will feature a modern take on Salamagundi, a popular dish of the time, followed by “Steam pudding” – the obvious choice for dessert.

A hot toddy will also be in offer to help toast the man behind the improved steam engine.

The charity has updated its website to give people more information on James Watt and his links with Bo’ness. Visit www.kinneil.org.uk/jameswatt