New open days and more staff for historic Kinneil House tours

Next month's Big Roman Week is a major family day out opportunity at Kinneil House.
Next month's Big Roman Week is a major family day out opportunity at Kinneil House.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has launched extra open days at Kinneil House in Bo’ness while bringing in stewards to help with tours.

The move aims to build on a partnership with the Friends of Kinneil and Falkirk Community Trust, while making the most of landmark events including this month’s James Watt bicentenary and next month’s Big Roman Week activities.

Meanwhile a new online booking system has been introduced allowing visitors to book a tour in advance.

Stuart Holmes, regional visitor operations manager at HES said: “We are really pleased to have secured additional staffing to enable more open days.

“We recently invested in opening up new areas of the House to the public, and we’re keen to continue improving the visitor experience and increasing access to the House in future.”

Ian Shearer, chairman of the Friends of Kinneil, said: “Kinneil House was for centuries a magnificent bastion of one of the country’s most powerful families – the Hamiltons.

“It boasts some of Scotland’s finest 16th-Century wall paintings, and also a unique association with James Watt, who secretly worked here on his steam engine and whose Bicentenary is being marked this month on August 25.

“Kinneil House, Museum and Estate feature nearly 2,000 years of spectacular heritage assets with significant visitor and development potential.”

Lesley O’Hare, Culture and Libraries Manager at Falkirk Community Trust, said: “We’re delighted to continue supporting the Friends of Kinneil and HES to open Kinneil House for public tours, and look forward to welcoming visitors to the Museum to learn more about the amazing stories of Kinneil Estate and the town of Bo’ness.”

The House is open on the following days, when entry is free but booking essential - Friday, August 23 (Watt bicentenary day); Saturday, September 14 (Doors Open Day and first day of Big Roman Week); Saturday, September 21, Saturday October 5, Saturday, November 30 and Sunday, December 1.