Easter Kinneil tour to mark anniversary of tragic heir's escape on rope of bedsheets

This Easter Saturday will mark the 460th anniversary of yet another dramatic episode in the fascinating history of Kinneil House.

By Kevin Quinn
Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 3:16 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 3:17 pm

On the eve of Easter Sunday in 1562 the troubled heir to the Hamilton dynasty escaped from his own father at Kinneil House during the night, down a rope of knotted bedsheets from an upper-floor room.

This weekend, volunteer guides from the Friends of Kinneil will explain the story during a special free outdoor walking tour at Kinneil House, at 2pm on Saturday, April 16.

Other Easter events and activities are also taking place over the weekend, including the unique annual early morning outdoor service led by Bo’ness Old Kirk at the ruined Kinneil Kirk at 8am on Easter Sunday.

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James Hamilton, 3rd Earl of Arran, who escaped down a rope of bedsheets at Easter in 1562.

Ian Shearer, chairman of the Friends of Kinneil, is looking forward to this Easter anniversary step back in time.

He said: “Generations of Bo’ness children know the story of Kinneil’s ‘White Lady’, falling to her death from a top-floor room – but how many know the equally dramatic tale of the tragic 3rd Earl of Arran, a potential future King of Scotland, escaping from his own father in Easter 1562 down a rope made of bed linen?

“In Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, find out more at the free tour on Easter Saturday by our volunteer guides. Visit our website and check social media for full information and updates on the tour, and also for family activity sheets for Easter walks in the estate.

“On Easter Sunday, experience the unique annual early outdoor service of morning praise at the ruin of Kinneil Kirk, believed to have been a Christian site for around 1,500 years or more. Visit Bo’ness Old Kirk’s social media pages for more information.”

Dawn sunrise at Kinneil House.

The tour on Saturday will be at the usual time of 2pm. There will be another tour on Saturday, April 30. Full information on this Saturday's tour can be found at https://kinneil.org/2022/04/12/easter-at-kinneil-anniversary-of-tragic-heirs-escape-on-rope-of-bedsheets/.

There is no need to book, just turn up outside Kinneil Museum. The tour will last around an hour, and will also feature some of the wider history and heritage of Kinneil House and Estate. Kinneil House itself has been closed since the pandemic began.