- ‘Hidden’ parts of historic mansion put on public display
- Free tours on offer from March 25, 2017
Visitors are being given the chance to explore more of historic Kinneil House in Bo’ness.
As part of Year of History Heritage and Archaeology 2017, parts of the 16th-century mansion that are normally closed to the public will be put on display in a new series of free open days, starting later this month.
The events have been organised by the charities Historic Environment Scotland and The Friends of Kinneil.
The House, once home to the Dukes of Hamilton, boasts some of the best renaissance wall paintings in Scotland.
For the 2017 season, visitors will get the opportunity to explore the roofless section of the “palace” part of the House. Later in the year, the public will gain access to view the main “tower” section too.
Adrian Mahoney from The Friends said: “Historic Environment Scotland have been carrying out works to allow us to show off more of the interiors of this amazing building. If you’ve been before, come back and see these ‘new’ sections in 2017.”
In total, eight free open events have been organised for the year. These will take place on:
- Saturday, March 25, 2017 (morning only – from 10 a.m. to noon);
- Sunday, April 23, 2017 (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.);
- Friday, May 19, 2017 (6 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.);
- Sunday, May 21, 2017 (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.);
- Sunday, June 25, 2017 (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.);
- Sunday, August 27, 2017 (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.);
- Saturday, September 16, 2017 (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.); and
- Sunday, October 29, 2017 (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.).
The last admission will be 30 minutes before the stated closing times.
Adrian said: “These events give people the chance to see the inside of this amazing building and hear more about its stories from our team of volunteer guides. Admission to the House is free of charge. Kinneil Museum, next to the House, will also be open during each of the open events.”
The Kinneil House open days have been programmed to tie in with national and local events.
The first event on March 25 has been organised to tie with the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival – http://www.hippfest.co.uk – running at the nearby Bo’ness Hippodrome, Scotland’s first purpose-built cinema.
“With lots of visitors coming to the town for the Festival, we thought it was a good idea to open Kinneil House at the same time. The March 25 morning opening will allow Festival-goers the chance to have a quick tour of this wonderful building and then go to the movies later in the day. Like the Hippodrome, Kinneil House is an A-listed building and a magnificent place to visit,” said Adrian.
The April 23 open day takes place during the third anniversary of the opening of the John Muir Way, a long-distance walking route which runs right past the House.
For the Scottish Festival of Museums and the UK’s Museums at Night celebrations in May, Kinneil House will be opening at night – on Friday, May 19. There will also be an evening opening at Kinneil Museum next door – and a bat hunt in the grounds of the big house.
A second Festival of Museums event will be held on Sunday, May 21.
June will see Bo’ness get dressed up for its annual Children’s Fair Festival. Kinneil House – an early location for the festival – will open the Sunday before the Fair, on June 25. There will also be an additional opening on Sunday, August 27, with performances from renaissance singers The Gargoyles of Gargunnock.
In September, the House – and its wider estate – will be the focus for Big Roman Week, a festival celebrating Falkirk district’s Roman roots. A full programme of events will be revealed later this summer.
The 2017 programme will end with a Hallowe’en themed opening at Kinneil House on Sunday, October 29, where visitors will hear spooky stories about the House’s past.
Amy Mack, Regional Tourism and Community Manager for Historic Environment Scotland, said: “We’re looking forward to the new season at Kinneil – particularly as we can show more of the interiors of the House to visitors. Initially, we’ll be providing extra access to roofless parts of the ‘palace’ part of the House. All going well, we’ll also open up a viewing platform within the main ‘tower’ section later this year.
“As ever, the House tours are free of charge and will offer a variety of experiences throughout the year. Look out for costumed interpreters, themed events and walks in the grounds.”
She added: “Although you can tour the grounds of Kinneil House throughout the year, you can only see inside the building on these special open days. We hope that families from across Scotland – and further afield – will pay a visit to Kinneil this year.”
Falkirk Community Trust is opening Kinneil Museum at additional times to tie in with Kinneil House open events.
For more information on open days click http://www.kinneil.org.uk or pick up a leaflet from libraries and local tourist attractions in the Falkirk Council area.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- The Friends of Kinneil was set up in 2006 to promote Kinneil Estate and Nature Reserve in Bo’ness. The charity organises Kinneil House open days and other events for members and visitors. (No. SC038368). The group won a Scottish Heritage Angel Award last year. To find out more, visit http://www.kinneil.org.uk
- Falkirk Community Trust manages Kinneil Museum and the surrounding Kinneil Estate on behalf of Falkirk Council. It also operates the Hippodrome Cinema in Bo’ness town centre and runs the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (running this year from Wednesday, March 22 to Sunday, March 26, 2017). Find out more at www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org – or go directly to the Festival page: www.hippfest.co.uk
- Historic Scotland and RCAHMS came together in 2015 to form a new lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. The new body, Historic Environment Scotland (HES), leads on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time. The body cares for Kinneil House using the existing Historic Scotland brand. Historic Environment Scotland is a registered Scottish Charity. Scottish Charity No. SC045925. You can keep up to date with news from Historic Environment Scotland and register for media release email alerts at https://www.historicenvironment.scot/about-us/news/
- Images of Kinneil House and Estate are available on request. Email: email@example.com
- Kinneil House 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 John Muir Way also runs through the site. For satellite navigation devices, use the postcode EH51 0PR.
- Media enquiries: tel. 01506 823714 or 01506 510629; email: firstname.lastname@example.org . More contact details at kinneil.org.uk/friends
- Download the 2017 poster here (low-res)
- Download the 2017 poster in hi-res format here