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



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

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 


Posted by: ed | May 22, 2017

Friends get to the art of the matter

As part of its support for Festival of Museums 2017, The Friends of Kinneil charity set up a pop-up art studio outside Kinneil Museum on Sunday.

Youngsters visiting the Museum and neighbouring Kinneil House got busy making wonderful creations. Pictures from the art session are included below. Just click any of them to see a larger version.

A big thanks to Val Lee for the pictures – and to Yvonne McBlain and all the volunteers who made Festival of Museums at Kinneil such a success.



Posted by: ed | May 17, 2017

Bats, goodies and more at Kinneil

IMG_4066 (1)For one night only, Kinneil House and Museum in Bo’ness are opening their doors at night – and you’re invited to come along!

Expect some surprises, great history – and a chance to see BATS!

The event this Friday, May 19, is part of the Scotland-wide Festival of Museums and the UK’s Museums at Night Festival.

The event will kick off at 6 p.m. on Friday – and run until dusk.

Until 7.30 p.m. you’ll be able to tour Kinneil House (last admission 7 p.m.) The House boasts some of the best renaissance wall paintings in Scotland.

Neighbouring Kinneil Museum will also be open from 6-9 p.m. Expect free goodie bags (while stocks last), special events and quizzes and lots more in the museum.

Geoff Bailey from Falkirk Community Trust will be leading on the quizzes and giving lots of great historical facts.

There will also be a pop-up cafe, selling drinks and snacks.


The special event will end with nature/bat walk around Kinneil Estate. We’ll be leaving the Museum around 8.45 p.m. this Friday – so make sure you get there in time (by around 8.30 p.m.). Falkirk Council ranger Lesley Sweeney will take us on a nature walk around the estate. Then, as dusk arrives, we’ll look for bats. The event should be completed by around 10 p.m.

Participants in the walk should:

  • bring warm clothing;
  • take a torch;
  • wear stout footwear; and
  • bring along a warm drink (if you wish).

Anyone under 16 MUST be accompanied by an adult. Sadly dogs can’t come on the bat walk. Please note that if there’s heavy rain – the bat walk won’t take place.

Timings are approximate. A big thank you to Falkirk Council for helping to arrange the walk.

Organised by The Friends of Kinneil with the support of Falkirk Community Trust, Historic Environment Scotland and Falkirk Council. 

Museum Facilities: Baby changing
Disabled access
Disabled parking
Pop-up cafe
Picnic area
Public transit links

A visit to the House and museum is FREE. No need to book, just turn up.

Family event. Open to all.

Call the museum on 01506 778530


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Posted by: ed | May 17, 2017

Baby love! New arrivals at Kinneil

The swans at Kinneil Estate in Bo’ness have produced a batch of cygnets. You can meet the new arrivals on the West Pond at the western edge of the Estate.

Here are some pictures which were taken earlier today.



Heritage fans will get two opportunities to tour a historic mansion for free this weekend.

Kinneil House in Bo’ness is running an open evening on Friday night (May 19), followed by an open afternoon on Sunday (May 21).

The events have been organised to support activities for the Festival of Museums and the Museums at Night festival, taking place at neighbouring Kinneil Museum.

Visitors will be able to see inside the mansion – which boasts some of the best renaissance wall paintings in Scotland – from 6 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. (last admission 7 p.m.) on Friday – and then from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (last admission 3.30 p.m.) on Sunday.

Kinneil House is the centrepiece of Kinneil Estate, a historic park on the western edge of Bo’ness.

Volunteers from the charity The Friends of Kinneil run tours inside the House on special open days, working in association with Historic Environment Scotland and Falkirk Community Trust.

For more information, visit




IMG_4066 (1)Families are set to flock to local heritage sites as one of Scotland’s biggest cultural festivals gets underway.

Kinneil House and Museum in Bo’ness, the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway and Callendar House in Falkirk are just some of the attractions taking part in this year’s Festival of Museums.

Organisers say the Scotland-wide event is the biggest ever. It kicks off on Friday, May 19 and runs until Sunday, May 21.

The festival aims to encourage more people to visit local cultural bases and see what they have to offer.

Kinneil House and Museum is supporting the initiative with two free events – one of the evening of Friday, May 19, and a second on the afternoon of Sunday, May 21.

The open evening promises a “bat walk” – searching for the creatures who roost in Kinneil House – plus House tours, quizzes in Kinneil Museum and free goody bags.

The Museum will be open from 6-9 p.m. on May 19, with the neighbouring House running tours between 6 and 7.30 p.m. (last House admission 7 p.m.). Anyone interested in the bat/nature walk should be at the Museum for 8.30 p.m. Children must be accompanied.

A second event takes place on Sunday, May 21. Kinneil House will be open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (last admission 3.30 p.m.) There will be arts and crafts activities for children – and more goody bags at the museum (while stocks last). Plus a car from Bo’ness Motor Museum and classic cars from the Bo’ness Hill Climb will be visiting the site for the afternoon event.

There will also be a pop-up café in the museum on both days.

Adrian Mahoney from The Friends of Kinneil – helping to organise the events – said: “We hope lots of local people will support these Festival of Museum activities. We’ve been working closely with Historic Environment Scotland and Falkirk Community Trust to deliver our 2017 programme. New areas of Kinneil House have gone on show this year and we’ll also showcasing recent improvements at Kinneil Museum. Come along and support these facilities. Admission is free of charge.”

He added: “We’d also like to thank Falkirk Council’s Ranger service who will be delivering the bat/nature walk around the park on Friday night. Hopefully, we get good weather and we see lots of bats!

“For more information – and updates – please check our website

Callendar House in Falkirk is supporting the Festival of Museums with a new exhibition recreating part of the Roman Antonine Wall, which ran from Bo’ness to Old Kilpatrick, near Glasgow.

The exhibition, launching on Saturday, May 20, will feature a splendid griffin figurine, that provided the crest of a Roman cavalry helmet, found at Polmont.

The Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway is taking on a Victorian air for its Festival of Museums event on Sunday, May 21. A punch and judy show, brass rubbing, and performances from Victorian-style volunteers have been promised.

Organisers say the local activities are some of the 120 plus events being delivered this year for Festival of Museums around Scotland. Evening events also support the UK’s Museums at Night Festival, running over the same weekend.

The Scottish co-ordinators, Museums Galleries Scotland, says the 2017 programme caters to all ages and interests and includes everything from historical re-enactments and night-time murder mysteries to children’s storytelling and arts and crafts.

Joanne Orr, Chief Executive of Museums Galleries Scotland, said: “Festival of Museums is about igniting imaginations and celebrating creativity whilst showcasing Scotland’s wealth of culture and heritage. Our packed programme features engaging, surprising and entertaining events over three action-packed days in museums across Scotland. Get involved and come and see what Scotland’s museums have to offer.”

For a full programme of events, please visit

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Did you know that whenever you buy anything online – from your weekly shop to your annual holiday – you could be collecting free donations for The Friends of Kinneil?

There are over 3,000 shops and sites on board ready to make a donation, including Amazon, John Lewis, Aviva, thetrainline and Sainsbury’s – it doesn’t cost you a penny extra!

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3…

1. Head to and join for free.

2. Every time you shop online, go to easyfundraising first to find the site you want and start shopping.

3. After you’ve checked out, that retailer will make a donation to your good cause for no extra cost whatsoever!

There are no catches or hidden charges and The Friends of Kinneil will be really grateful for your donations.

Thank you for your support.

The Friends of Kinneil is a registered Scottish charity. Reg. Charity No. SC038368

Posted by: ed | April 24, 2017

Visitors pick up John Muir Way prizes

20170413_140633Thanks to everyone who entered our free draw for John Muir Way guidebooks at Kinneil House on Sunday.

We had two outright winners, each picking up a Rucksack Readers’ booklet worth £11.99.

Congratulations to Maureen Blake, who’s based near Haddington, and Ann-Marie Naismith, from Carronshore.

We’re posting your prizes to you.

We also gave away six John Muir Way maps to runners-up. These are winging their way to Charles Colliar, Grangemouth; Carine Freeman, Bo’ness; David Bishop, Falkirk; Isabel Glen, Linlithgow; Gareth Linden, Bo’ness; and Ruth Dixon in Linlithgow.

Keep visiting our social media pages at and for more Kinneil updates and occasional competitions!

** We also gave away additional guidebooks to walkers taking part in the John Muir Way walk on Saturday.

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