The Gargoyles of GargunnockRenaissance singers will entertain crowds at historic Kinneil House in Bo’ness this month.

The Gargoyles of Gargunnock group will appear as part of a free open day.

Visitors can step inside the mansion – and enjoy the music – from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 27. The event has been organised by the charities The Friends of Kinneil and Historic Environment Scotland.

Maria Ford from The Friends said: “We’re delighted to welcome the Gargoyles back to Kinneil this August. They specialise in Renaissance and medieval music and seem a perfect fit for the House, which dates back to the 15th century and boasts some of the best Renaissance wall paintings in Scotland.”

She added: “The group have appeared at the House over the past few seasons and have been a real hit with visitors. We’re hoping for similar success on August 27.

“Entry to the House, and to enjoy the music, will be free of charge. The last admission to the building will be 3.30 p.m. on Sunday, August 27 – so don’t be late. It will be worth coming along!”

The event will see more of the House opened to the public. Historic Environment Scotland has installed a new viewing platform in the central “Tower” section of the House to allow regular visitor access to this area for the first time.

VisitScotland’s “Coo Van” will also be in the surrounding Kinneil Estate, giving free tourist information and advice to visitors. Kinneil Museum will also be open.

Helen Rowell from the Gargoyles of Gargunnock said: “It’s great to return to Kinneil.”
The group formed in 2004 as an amateur acapella folk group.

Helen – with her fellow group members Zoe Fouracre and Elizabeth Wilkinson – says the Gargoyles are “wandering minstrels”. The ladies – who don period outfits for performances – are based in the picturesque village of Gargunnock, around four miles from Stirling.

Helen said: “We became medieval singers by accident when we agreed to perform at the Border Reivers Festival in Hawick and then discovered it was a period dress event! Since then we have sung to thousands of people at many festivals and events throughout Scotland.”

She added: “We sing songs from 13th to 17th centuries – about love and war, drinking and lust, religion and nature.

“We have sung in venues from palaces to battlefields, from old folks’ homes to community centres, from pubs to chapels and from kirks to beer tents. We research and make our own outfits and have a range from the early through late medieval and Renaissance periods.”

After the Kinneil event on August 27, the Gargoyles will perform at Cambuskenneth Abbey’s Open Day on Sunday, September 17 – and at Early Music Day at St Cecilia’s Hall in Edinburgh on October 28. Then there will be preparations for Christmas.

Helen said the past year has been very busy for the group.

“We finished the 2016 season with two fund-raising concerts, one in Cupar and one at the Smith Art Gallery in Stirling, then sang at the Burrell Collection in Glasgow before it closed for its refurbishment,” she said.

“We then started our Christmas charity appearances, three times at the Woodhouse Café in Kippen, and at Stirling farmer’s Market.”

Singing takes the three women across Scotland.

“Our 2017 summer season started in Peebles with the Traquair Medieval Festival weekend in May,” said Helen. “Then we sang for the Town Break Friendship Group in Braehead at the Rural Carers’ Group in Callander.

“If you are planning an event, and are interested in having the Gargoyles perform, then please contact us through our website.”

To find out more about Kinneil House open days, please visit http://www.kinneil.org.uk

You can also get updates via social media at www.twitter.com/kinneil and www.facebook.com/kinneil

To find out more about the Gargoyles of Gargunnock, visit: www.spanglefish.com/thegargoyles/

The Gargoyles of Gargunnock are pictured. From left, Helen Rowell, Zoe Fouracre and Liz Wilkinson.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

  • 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. For directions, click here
  • The John Muir Way also runs through the site. For satellite navigation devices, use the postcode EH51 0PR. Images of Kinneil House and Estate are available on request. Email: publicity@kinneil.org.uk
  • You can access a video of the Gargoyles of Gargunnock singing at Kinneil at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ly6h-E4SV8
Posted by: ed | August 8, 2017

See inside Kinneil House on August 27

The next open day at Kinneil House, Bo’ness, will take place on Sunday, August 27, 2017, from 1-4 p.m. (last House admission at 3.30 p.m.)

Entry will be free of charge. The singing group The Gargoyles of Gargunnock will entertain visitors at the event.

Kinneil dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries and was home to the Dukes of Hamilton. It boasts some of the best renaissance wall paintings in Scotland.

The open day will give visitors the chance to tour part of the Bo’ness building and hear about its fascinating history. Volunteer guides from The Friends of Kinneil charity will be on hand to lead tours.

Kinneil Museum will also be open. It features an audio-visual show about the history of the House and the wider Kinneil Estate.

Further updates on the event will be published here on the Kinneil website nearer the date.

For more info visit www.kinneil.org.uk/2017opendays 

 

kinneilposter2017-pictured

Posted by: ed | August 4, 2017

£298,000 boost for Kinneil

coastalfundlogo1Kinneil Estate in Bo’ness is set to benefit from a Government cash boost.

The charity The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) has been awarded £298,241 from the Coastal Communities Fund to make improvements in the area.

The allocation was revealed in a document posted on the Big Lottery Fund website.

It says the money will fund a two-year project to “improve the coastal paths and woodland of Kinneil Estate by establishing it as a key visitor attraction. Work will involve upgrading key tourist routes throughout the estate including the John Muir Way and the National Cycle Route. The project will be delivered by TCV and supported by Falkirk Community Trust (FCT) who have identified priority areas of work through the Kinneil Estate Masterplan.”

The Trust, Falkirk Council and TCV are expected to make further comment on their plans soon.

20walkersinkinneilwoods-rgb-300dpiThe Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) encourages the economic development of UK coastal communities by giving funding to create sustainable economic growth and jobs.

Since the start of the CCF in 2012, grants up to the value of £170 million have been awarded.

The Big Lottery says this funding is forecast to deliver over 16,000 jobs and help attract over £316 million of additional funds to coastal areas.

The Big Lottery Fund has delivered the CCF on behalf of UK Government and the Devolved Administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The UK Government announced in 2015 that the CCF will be extended to 2021 with at least £90m of new funding available for the period 2017/18 to 2020/21.

The Coastal Communities Fund is funded by the Government with income from the Crown Estate’s marine assets.

The Kinneil cash allocation was part of a round of funding announced by the Scottish Government on July 6. 

Coastal Communities Funding Round 4 announcement – including Kinneil (PDF)

Posted by: ed | August 1, 2017

Watt Cottage named as ‘Hidden Gem’

James Watt's Cottage at Kinneil Estate, Bo'ness

The James Watt Cottage at Kinneil Estate in Bo’ness has been named as one of Scotland’s heritage “Hidden Gems”.

It follows an online poll by the heritage body Dig It! 2017.

The Watt Cottage was built in 1769. It was used as a workshop by inventor James Watt to secretly develop world-changing improvements to the steam engine with patron Dr John Roebuck, co-founder of the Carron Iron Works.

Dig It! 2017 encouraged people to “like” on pictures on Facebook to cast their votes to finalise the winners of its poll.

The Watt Cottage was among the top six winners (coming fourth, with nearly 900 votes). All six sites will now be rewarded with public events this autumn.

With over 2,000 votes, the Govan Stones was the most popular site. The collection consists of 31 medieval stones carved in the Viking era, including carved crosses and five Viking hogback stones.

Other winners, in order, were:

  • Ardrossan Castle, North Ayrshire – 2nd
  • The Howff, Dundee – 3rd
  • James Watt Cottage, Bo’ness – 4th
  • Campbeltown Picture House, Argyll & Bute – 5th
  • Lincluden Collegiate Church, Dumfries & Galloway – 6th

Dig It! 2017 organised the poll as part of the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology in Scotland. It had previously celebrated Scotland’s six World Heritage Sites in April and wanted to turn its attention to find six “lesser-known” sites.

Dr Jeff Sanders, Dig It! 2017 Project Manager, said: “We’ve been thrilled by the reaction to the Hidden Gems campaign. The people who nominated the sites have put an enormous amount of time and effort into the promotion and it’s been great to see members of the public respond with equal enthusiasm – whether they’re sharing childhood memories or discovering a site for the first time.”

Marie Christie, Head of Development, VisitScotland Events Directorate, said: “From World Heritage Sites to ancient monuments, listed buildings to historic battlefields, cultural traditions to our myths, stories and legends, the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is the time to explore Scotland’s fascinating past. Following the success of Scotland in Six, celebrating World Heritage Day, it is great to see the overwhelming response from voters who are proud to support some of Scotland’s ‘lesser known’ sites. These hidden gems highlight our rich and diverse history and we are looking forward to the events planned for Scottish Archaeology Month in September.”

The six winning Hidden Gems sites are now preparing to mark their victory with six events during Scottish Archaeology Month in September.

The Friends of Kinneil charity – which has heavily promoted the Watt Cottage – said it was delighted at the building’s success in the poll. Details on the Watt Cottage event will be publicised here in due course.

Posted by: ed | July 13, 2017

All set for Big Roman Week this September

romansatkinneil-300dpi_thumb.jpgSCOTLAND’S biggest Roman festival returns this September . . . and organisers are promising something for everyone.

The Big Roman Week 2017 will deliver heritage events right across the Falkirk Council area – at the eastern end of the Roman Antonine Wall.

Walks, talks, films and family events are planned to encourage people to find out more about their Roman roots.

The fun kicks off on Saturday, September 16, and runs until Sunday, September 24. Many events, although not all, will be free of charge.

The full programme will be unveiled next month. However, organisers say highlights will include:

  • A Big Roman Day at Kinneil House, Bo’ness, on September 16 – with a Roman encampment in the grounds;
  • An Antonine Wall Community Conference at the historic Hippodrome Cinema in Bo’ness on September 17;
  • events at libraries and museums across the Falkirk Council area;
  • And walks to Roman sites along the Antonine Wall – at Carriden (Bo’ness); Rough Castle (near Bonnybridge), Croy Hill and Bar Hill (near Kirkintilloch).

Anyone interested in finding out more can sign up for alerts at www.bigromanweek.org.uk

The festival is the idea of the charity The Friends of Kinneil in Bo’ness. It wanted to raise the profile of the Antonine Wall which runs from Bo’ness to Old Kilpatrick near Glasgow.

With the support of partners such as Falkirk Council, Falkirk Community Trust and Historic Environment Scotland, the festival has grown in recent years – attracting people from across the country.

Adrian Mahoney from The Friends of Kinneil said: “Our big aim is to encourage more people to find out about Scotland’s Roman past. The Antonine Wall became a World Heritage Site in 2008. But its stories are still unknown to many people across the country. Activities like Big Roman Week help people to discover local heritage sites, meet great experts and find out more about heritage. We also try to have fun in the process.

“Printed programmes for this year’s festival will be distributed across the Falkirk Council area in August. We’ll also publicise events at www.bigromanweek.org.uk and through the Friends’ social media accounts including @BigRomanWeek.”

Liz Buchanan MBE, Regional Partnerships Director for the Falkirk area at Visit Scotland, says the festival is particularly appropriate this year, as Scotland celebrates its themed year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

“This year we’re delving into the past and discovering Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide variety of new and existing activities across Scotland. Events like Big Roman Week encourage people to visit venues, spend money in local economies and boost tourism. They also get people to appreciate the history – sometimes hidden – on their doorsteps. I wish the organisers every success with their plans for this year’s festival.”

She added: “The themed year continues until Hogmanay and there are lots of great things going on. Look out for the hashtag #HHA2017 and get heritage updates on social media. Scotland has wonderful heritage. Get out and enjoy it.”

 

Find out more at www.bigromanweek.org.uk

You can also get updates via the Friends of Kinneil’s social media channels:

http://www.facebook.com/kinneil  (just “like”) and http://www.twitter.com/kinneil

bridgenessslab1.jpg

WONDER WALL

  • The Antonine Wall was built around 142AD on the orders of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius.
  • The turf and stone frontier – more accurately a turf rampart fronted by a wide and deep ditch – ran from Bo’ness right through Falkirk district to Old Kilpatrick, near Glasgow. Along the line of the Wall were a series of forts and fortlets.
  • The defensive system was designed to hold back Caledonian tribes from invading southern Scotland, then under Roman rule.
  • The Antonine Wall covered around 40 Roman miles, with around a third of the structure being constructed in Falkirk district.
  • The Wall was abandoned around AD 160, when the Romans retreated to Hadrian’s Wall in northern England.
  • Today, many parts of the Antonine Wall lie under towns and settlements, built long after the Romans departed Scotland. However, evidence of the wall’s ramparts and buildings can still be found.
  • The local area is fortunate in having a number of highly visible parts of the Antonine Wall. As well as the remains of a fortlet at Kinneil, and a fort at Rough Castle, near Bonnybridge, the Antonine Wall can also be seen at Polmont Woods; Watling Lodge, Tamfourhill (near the Falkirk Wheel), Callendar Park in Falkirk; Seabegs Woods, near Bonnybridge; and Castlecary Roman Fort. You can also see the replica of a Roman tablet at Bridgeness, Bo’ness (pictured above).
  • In addition, there are free exhibitions on the Romans in local museums, Callendar House, Falkirk, and Kinneil in Bo’ness. Outside the district, there are displays in the Auld Kirk Museum in Kirkintilloch; the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow; and the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.
  • The Wall became part of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site in 2008, joining Hadrian’s Wall and the German Limes frontier. It also meant that Falkirk district became home to Scotland’s fifth world heritage site.
  • The Big Roman Week was launched in 2009 to celebrate the area’s Roman links. The Festival is always held around September 19 – the date of the Emperor Antoninus Pius’s birthday.
  • A new website for the Wall has been launched at www.antoninewall.org … An app for smartphones is also being developed.

 

Posted by: ed | July 11, 2017

Inventor’s cottage vying for heritage votes

James Watt's Cottage at Kinneil Estate, Bo'ness

History fans are being urged to get voting and crown a little-known building as one of Scotland’s top “hidden gems”.

The James Watt Cottage in Kinneil Estate, Bo’ness, was built in 1769. It was used as a workshop by inventor James Watt to secretly develop world-changing improvements to the steam engine with patron Dr John Roebuck, co-founder of the Carron Iron Works.

The building is now vying for votes in an online Facebook poll run by Dig It! 2017. Early voting has led the building to be a leading contender in the poll.

Dig It! 2017 is promising the top six heritage sites selected by the public will be rewarded with special events this September.

Ian Shearer from charity The Friends of Kinneil is encouraging everyone to support the Watt Cottage and boost recognition for the Falkirk area’s role in the Industrial Revolution.

jameswatt-fromvictorianbook1Ian said: “We’re delighted that Watt’s Cottage is on the shortlist, and has momentum. Hundreds of people have voted already, simply giving a ‘like’ on Dig It! 2017’s special Facebook album. But we need more people to join in and click through to make sure we’re in the top six.

“The Watt Cottage is the only contender on behalf of the whole Falkirk district, so we’re asking people right across the local area to get behind it and give it their vote.”

He added: “In 2019 we’ll celebrate 250 years of Watt’s 1769 patent for the condensing engine. This hidden gem of a building symbolises one of the most fascinating and important innovations ever in the history of technology. It deserves the much higher profile which a place in the top six would bring.”

You can find out more information, including how to vote, at Facebook.com/DigIt2017 and at http://bit.ly/ScotinSixHG

Voting ends at the end of July.

Other entrants in the heritage poll include a hill fort with rumoured links to Arthurian legend, Viking-age monuments tucked away in Govan and a mausoleum with “Whispering Wa’s” and a record-breaking echo. Voting runs on the Dig It! 2017 Facebook page until the end of July.

As part of Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, Dig It! 2017 worked with partners across the country to celebrate Scotland’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites with six unique events earlier this year. It now wants to do the same, celebrating Scotland’s top six hidden gems.

Dr Jeff Sanders, Dig It! 2017 Project Manager, said: “We had such a great time coordinating the World Heritage Day events . . . we wanted to do something similar for these lesser-known but equally spectacular sites.

“Since we have six of these iconic World Heritage Sites, we thought it would be fitting to invite the public to pick six Hidden Gem counterparts.”

Partners from across the country, ranging from small community groups to national heritage organisations, helped nominate the sites.

Once the votes have been tallied, Dig It! 2017 will work closely with these organisations to celebrate the six winning sites with six different events during Scottish Archaeology Month (SAM) in September.

Dr Doug Rocks-Macqueen, SAM Coordinator at Archaeology Scotland, said: “Scottish Archaeology Month is an annual celebration of history, heritage and archaeology around Scotland in September, and we’re excited to have the Hidden Gems as the marquee events for the 20th anniversary. I can think of no better way to celebrate Scotland’s past than highlighting the heritage chosen by popular vote.”

To explore the sites and vote for your favourites, visit Facebook.com/DigIt2017 … More information is also online at http://bit.ly/ScotinSixHG

wattsouthouseTHE JAMES WATT COTTAGE AT KINNEIL

Find out more about the cottage, and its story, at www.kinneil.org.uk/jameswatt

ABOUT DIG IT! 2017

Dig It! 2017 is a year-long celebration of Scottish archaeology, co-ordinated by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and Archaeology Scotland for the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.

The project is primarily funded by Historic Environment Scotland. For more information, visit digit2017.com or join the conversation using #ScotlandinSixHG

HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY 2017

2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activities to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.

The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology began on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It builds on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.

The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.

The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.

The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

For more information visit http://www.visitscotland.com/HHA2017 or join the conversation at #HHA2017

 

MEDIA ENQUIRIES

Adrian Mahoney
The Friends of Kinneil
Tel: 01506 82371 4 / 07967 150560
Email: info@kinneil.org.uk

Julianne McGraw
Dig It! 2017 Communications Officer
Tel: 0131 247 4066
Email: julianne@digit2017.com

The Friends of Kinneil is a registered charity
Charity Registration Number : SC038368

 

Posted by: ed | July 3, 2017

Visit Kinneil House for free on August 27

The next open day at Kinneil House, Bo’ness, will take place on Sunday, August 27, 2017, from 1-4 p.m. (last House admission at 3.30 p.m.)

Entry will be free of charge. The singing group The Gargoyles of Gargunnock will entertain visitors at the event.

Kinneil dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries and was home to the Dukes of Hamilton. It boasts some of the best renaissance wall paintings in Scotland.

The open day will give visitors the chance to tour part of the Bo’ness building and hear about its fascinating history. Volunteer guides from The Friends of Kinneil charity will be on hand to lead tours.

Kinneil Museum will also be open. It features an audio-visual show about the history of the House and the wider Kinneil Estate.

Further updates on the event will be published here on the Kinneil website nearer the date.

For more info visit www.kinneil.org.uk/2017opendays 

 

kinneilposter2017-pictured

Posted by: ed | June 20, 2017

Find out what’s Watt at Kinneil House

jameswatt-fromvictorianbook1Historic Kinneil House in Bo’ness is open for free tours this Sunday afternoon (June 25).

A costumed interpreter will be on hand to tell visitors about the mansion’s links with the Scots inventor James Watt.

History fans can tour the inside of the building between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday, with the last admission at 3.30 p.m. The House boasts some of the best renaissance wall paintings in Scotland.

The open event has been organised by the charity The Friends of Kinneil in association with Historic Environment Scotland.

A Friends spokesman said: “James Watt did early work to develop an improved steam engine at Kinneil House.

“We’re delighted Historic Environment Scotland are bringing a costumed interpreter to the site on Sunday to raise the profile of Watt’s time at Kinneil and his work in the small workshop at the back of the House.

“Our volunteers will also be on hand to show to take tours around the building, including the amazing painted rooms on the first floor. We’ll also be showing off ‘new’ sections of the House, opened to the public for the first time this year. Admission will be free of charge.”

Kinneil House is located within Kinneil Estate, a park on the western edge of Bo’ness. The House open event coincides with the second day of the Estate’s annual sale of bedding plants and flowers.

Kinneil Museum, next to the House, will also be open.

For more information on Kinneil open days please visit www.kinneil.org.uk

3kinneilhouseinsummer-rgb-300dpi.jpg

7arbourroom-kinneilhouse-rgb-300dpi-1.jpg

For directions to Kinneil House, please visit our map page

Posted by: ed | June 9, 2017

Kinneil plant sale on June 24 and 25

Falkirk Council’s plant sale at Kinneil Estate, Bo’ness, takes place on June 24 and 25. Here’s the price list. Please note the second day is also a Kinneil House open day. For more on open days click http://www.kinneil.org.uk/2017opendays

Posted by: ed | May 22, 2017

Visit Kinneil House on June 25

The next Kinneil House open day will take place on Sunday, June 25, 2017, from 1-4 p.m. (last House admission at 3.30 p.m.)

Entry will be free of charge. A costumed interpreter, telling visitors about James Watt, is expected to attend. There will also be a chance to tour part of the Bo’ness building, which boasts some of the best renaissance wall paintings in Scotland.

Kinneil Museum will also be open.

The June open event coincides with the second day of Falkirk Council’s plant sale, held in the neighbouring nursery within Kinneil Estate. Bedding plants are offered at great prices.

For more info visit www.kinneil.org.uk/2017opendays 

kinneilposter2017-pictured

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