Posted by: ed | November 22, 2017

Barbara: Why I love Kinneil …

Barbara McConnell (second from right) is the Step Forth co-ordinator for Falkirk Community Trust. The charity co-ordinates volunteer-led health walks at Kinneil Estate, three times a week.

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Barbara says: “I love Kinneil Estate. It’s where I started my first walks as Step Forth walking co-ordinator.

“If ever I feel a little down or stressed I go down to Kinneil and have a lovely walk with my walk leaders.

“Kinneil is beautiful. There is always something to see.

“I was there with my Nordic walking group yesterday.

“The woods had a blanket of golden leaves and the colours on the trees were just beautiful.

“The pond was glittering in the sun (oh yes, there was sun!)

“It’s such a calm place and full of history. The (Kinneil) House is just stunning when you walk up the drive.

“Our group walked around the Estate then back to have a look in the museum.  There was so much to read and see it was very interesting. Go and have a look. It’s amazing.

” . . . And if you want a wee bit company, join our (Kinneil) walking groups, Mondays 10.30 a.m., Thursdays 10.30 a.m. and Tuesdays at 2 p.m. all from the front of the museum.”

Find out more about Kinneil health walks here.

Barbara's Nordic walking group explore Kinneil Woods.

Barbara’s Nordic walking group explore Kinneil Woods.

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Posted by: ed | November 21, 2017

Audio: Kinneil House Experts’ Day

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Archaeologists and historians have been working together, delving into documents and surveying Kinneil House. They presented their findings at a special Experts’ Day in Bo’ness on November 19.

You can listen to audio from the event by clicking the player links below.

The audio is also available on Soundcloud.

The speakers were:

Arkady Hodge

.

Arkady is an independent historian with a wide knowledge of medieval and later Scottish History.  He has undertaken many research projects on Historic Environment Scotland properties including Edinburgh Castle, Inchcolm Abbey and of course Kinneil House.  For this project, he trawled through archival material uncovering some previously overlooked documents which shed new light on how the 16th century Hamilton family saw themselves and how they furnished their house.

Tom Addyman

.

Tom is an archaeologist with particular skills in interpreting standing buildings.  He established Addyman Archaeology,  a division of Simpson and Brown Architects, which is now one of the leading archaeological companies in the north of Britain concerned with historic building, recording and analysis. He has undertaken building analysis for English Heritage at Bolsover Castle, and National Trust for Scotland at Culzean Castle and Historic Scotland at Queensberry House, part of the Scottish Parliament site.  His close examination of Kinneil House has helped revise the generally accepted story of its development.

Michael Pearce

.

Michael is an independent historian and expert in medieval and renaissance interiors, including painted decoration.  He has undertaken many research projects for Historic Environment Scotland including recent work on Craignethan Castle, which like Kinneil was built for a branch of the Hamilton family.  Michael’s particular expertise enables him to assess the painted decoration within the house and also share some fascinating details of how the family used the house, down to what was on their table for dinner!

Adrian Maldonado

.

Adrian is an archaeologist and Research Associate with the Glasgow Iona Research Group, University of Glasgow. He specialises in archaeology of the late Iron Age, early monasticism and medieval Christianity and has most recently been involved with a major project on the early monastic site at Iona Abbey. Adrian will talk about the unique Kinneil Cross, giving us some context and background for this very remarkable piece of sculpture.

Geoff Bailey

.

Geoff is Archaeologist & Keeper of Local History for Falkirk Community Trust.  He has an unparalleled knowledge of the Bo’ness area, and of Kinneil House in its wider context, including its relationship to the Antonine Wall and later settlements.  He has published widely on the history and archaeology of the area.  He brings this deep understanding to the project to talk about the designed landscape around Kinneil in its heyday.

The Experts’ Day was organised by Historic Environment Scotland (Charity Reg. No. SC045925) with the support of The Friends of Kinneil (Charity Reg. No. SC038368) and Falkirk Community Trust (Charity Reg. No. SC042403).

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The Hippodrome Cinema in Bo’ness – the main venue for the free community conference, exploring the history of Kinneil House.

Posted by: ed | November 20, 2017

Raise funds for Kinneil this Christmas

9TUCMMMDIJDid 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 https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/fokinneil/ 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. Charity registration number: SC038368.

Posted by: ed | November 20, 2017

Visit Kinneil Museum

HISTORIC Kinneil Museum is located in the former coachhouse of the imposing Kinneil House, on the western edge of Bo’ness. The museum is open all year, normally every day except Tuesdays, from 12.30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The venue features displays on the history of Kinneil and the wider Bo’ness area, audio visual shows and interactive displays.

For details, visit the Falkirk Community Trust website, which runs the museum on behalf of Falkirk Council.

You’ll also find directions to the museum and the surrounding Kinneil Estate here.

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Posted by: ed | November 15, 2017

History fans invited to free Kinneil event

kinneilhousefromborrowstounnessanddistrict1Historic Kinneil House in Bo’ness will come under the spotlight at a free conference this Sunday, November 19, 2017

The “Experts Day” will take place at the nearby Hippodrome Cinema in Bo’ness town centre. Members of the public are being invited to attend.

The event has been organised by Historic Environment Scotland and The Friends of Kinneil.

A spokesman for the organisers said: “Archaeologists and historians have been working together, delving into documents and surveying Kinneil House. Together they can shed more light on the building than ever before and paint a picture of how it was in its heyday. We’re encouraging anyone interested in Kinneil to come along to this free event and to hear from our guest speakers.”

Doors open at the Hippodrome at 10 a.m. on Sunday. To book a free ticket, visit www.kinneil.org.uk/expertsday or call 01506 823714. The ticket includes a snack lunch and further presentations in Bo’ness Library on Sunday afternoon.

The speakers will include:

  • Tom Addyman, discussing the archaeology of Kinneil House;
  • Arkady Hodge, on documentary history;
  • Michael Pearce, on inventories/reconstructing the interior;
  • Geoff Bailey, discussing the designed landscape and setting; and
  • Adrian Maldonado, talking about the Kinneil Cross (on display within the House).

To find out more about the speakers and the event visit www.kinneil.org.uk/expertsday

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Built next to the Antonine Wall, Kinneil House was the chief seat of the powerful and wealthy Hamilton family. Subject to extensions and refurbishments over 300 years, it reflected the Hamiltons’ high status both inside and out. The building is open on selected days throughout the year and boasts some of the best renaissance wall paintings in Scotland.

The house has a good claim to being the birthplace of the improved steam engine. The pioneering Scots engineer James Watt developed his first engine in a small workshop beside the mansion in the 1700s.

The grounds also feature remains of the Roman Antonine Wall, now part of a World Heritage Site. There is also a small museum, which is open throughout the year.

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

Visit us online at: www.kinneil.org.uk
Email us: info@kinneil.org.uk

Posted by: ed | November 1, 2017

Five Go To Kinneil House – and win a big prize!

Kinneil House

Mysterious (and famous) … Kinneil House

Gosh! What would Uncle Quentin say?

They’ve explored a Treasure Island and Mystery Moor. They went up Billycock Hill and found a Secret Trail.

Now The Famous Five have had an adventure at Kinneil House in Bo’ness.

It’s all thanks to the writing efforts of children at the nearby Kinneil Primary School – who devised a new story for the four famous children and Timmy, the dog.

The Kinneil kids shared their efforts using text, images and video through Microsoft’s Sway presentation program.

It was so good the youngsters’ production has won a national competition … scooping thousands of pounds worth of prizes for the school, plus praise from tech giants Microsoft and Hachette, which owns the Enid Blyton brand.

Pupils devised “Five Go To Kinneil House” – about the Famous Five’s bid to catch two diamond thieves at the historic venue. (See/read their entry here.)

Their efforts won them:

  • a Famous Five book for every child in the school;
  • a copy of every Enid Blyton book that Hodder Children’s Books has published, for the school library;
  • Five Surface Pro 4 computers for the class;
  • a Surface Pro 4 for their teacher;
  • a hamper of fun games, treats and T-shirts; and
  • a bespoke cover designed by Enid Blyton’s publisher, Hachette Children’s Group.

Kinneil class teacher Lauren Young added: “The competition was a fantastic project to take part in, and it created a real buzz in the classroom. It encompassed many parts of the curriculum and allowed the children to share their talents and learning in different ways through writing, drama, art and technology. Enid Blyton’s stories encouraged the children to read more and her style and structure gave the children a great basis to build their stories on. I could not be more proud of the children for this fantastic achievement.”

The competition was organised to mark the 75th anniversary of the Famous Five books.
It challenged children in Year 4 and Primary 5 classes (aged eight and nine) to write a story of between 500 and 800 words in the style of the classic Enid Blyton novels.

The stories had to focus on an exciting location or place of local interest, and adopt the same five-step structure that Blyton used: set up, journey, adventure, resolution, return home.

Hachette gave the Kinneil Primary entry its top prize because it was a “great story and the multimedia presentation was outstanding”.

The publishers said: “They (the Kinneil pupils) had a mix of videos that they had scripted, cast and filmed, plus recorded dialogue and photos and drawings which told parts of the story in different ways, but everything flowed very cohesively. They had clearly put a massive amount of energy and effort into their entry.”

Lucy Upton, Group Marketing Director for Hachette Children’s Group, said the firm was delighted to team up with Microsoft to run the writing competition.

Ian Fordham, Director of Education at Microsoft said: “Blyton’s books are known and loved by children and adults across the world, and we hope they inspire young people to tell some amazing tales of their own.”

Kinneil House has some fantastic real-life stories of its own to share. Visit Kinneil Museum this winter to find out more and discover the Famous Five (or more) faces associated with the House and its wider estate.

Open days at Kinneil House are due to resume in the spring of 2018.

www.kinneil.org.uk/attractions

Posted by: ed | October 29, 2017

Coming to our Hallowe’en event? Read this!

Poster for the Halloween event at Kinneil House in 2017.Historic Kinneil House in Bo’ness hosts its last open day of 2017 today, Sunday, October 29 … just in time for Halloween.

There will be free spooky tours for families to enjoy. Kinneil Museum, next to the House, will also be open.

If you’re coming along, here are a few things to bear in mind.

  1. Kinneil House will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. on October 29, with the last admission at 3.30 p.m. – so don’t be late.
  2. Volunteer guides will be telling spooky stories about the building itself and about local people tried for witchcraft. If you’re easily scared, this isn’t for you. Read our press release.
  3. Children are being encouraged to dress up. The best dressed child will win a book token for the fabulous Inkspot and Silverleaf bookshop in Bo’ness.
  4. To be considered for the prize, kids (and parents) need to climb to the top of the House and get their picture taken (to help us judge entries). You’ll also need to leave your details – without those we can’t get in touch with you. We’ll reveal the winner via our Facebook page the week after the open day.
  5. We will use the pictures of fancy dress entrants on our web pages and social media. If you don’t want your child’s picture re-used please let us know.
  6. Children under 16 also need to be accompanied by an adult to gain entry to the House.
  7. We’ll be doing timed tours so you may have to wait a little to get in. Be patient! It’s worth it.
  8. The House also features wonderful renaissance painted rooms. You can see pictures on our website.
  9. The separate Kinneil Museum will be open (from 12.30 p.m. to 4 p.m.) Again, admission is free. Please note the museum is open a little longer than the House!
  10. The museum features hands-on displays and film shows. There’s also a public toilet with baby changing facilities.
  11. There will also be a pop-up coffee/drinks stall selling hot and cold drinks, chocolate and crisps inside the museum. Profits go to The Friends of Kinneil charity.
  12. If the House is very busy, consider visiting Kinneil Museum first – and then the House (but make sure you get into the House for 3.30 p.m.)
  13. Visitors will be able to park in the grounds in front of the House. Motorists should be aware the estate will be busy, so watch out for pedestrians.
  14. If you need directions, visit www.kinneil.org.uk/map – or type in EH51 0PR into your Sat Nav.
  15. We welcome feedback. If there’s a problem on the day, ask one of the staff or volunteers on duty. We’ll try to help as much as we can.
  16. You can also leave a review on TripAdvisor. For links see www.kinneil.org.uk/review
  17. People with disabilities are very welcome. Most of the key events take place on the ground floor of Kinneil House. There are a few stairs into the building. There are also two further floors to visit, accessible by a spiral staircase. Sadly there’s no lift in this historic building. Kinneil Museum, however, has a fully accessible ground floor and toilet and has a ramped access.
  18. Enjoy your visit. Any questions, please email us: info@kinneil.org.uk

Thanks to everyone for all their support in 2017, particularly our partners at Historic Environment Scotland and Falkirk Community Trust.

We’ll be running more Kinneil House open days next year. Keep visiting our website at www.kinneil.org.uk – and social media channels on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

Posted by: ed | October 20, 2017

Discover the secrets of Kinneil House

kinneilhouse-winter300dpi-1_thumb.jpgFREE EVENT ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19, AT THE HIPPODROME CINEMA, BO’NESS

NEW! SPEAKER PROFILES NOW ONLINE

Come along to the Bo’ness Hippodrome on November 19, 2017, and join The Friends of Kinneil and Historic Environment Scotland for a unique chance to hear all about the latest research into Kinneil House.

Book your free tickets here

Archaeologists and historians have been working together, delving into documents and surveying the building. Together they can shed more light on Kinneil than ever before and paint a picture of how it was in its heyday in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Our special event kicks off at 10 a.m. on November 19, in the historic Hippodrome Cinema in Bo’ness town centre. The café-bar will be open for refreshments with the first paper/presentation at 10.30 a.m.

Book your free tickets here

At 1 p.m. the audience will move to Bo’ness Library (upstairs) for a snack lunch (included with ticket) and then some more discussions and questions (with an expected finish at 3.30 p.m.). You can attend all or part of the day.

This is a public event and we welcome anyone with an interest in Kinneil to come along. If you have queries, email: info@kinneil.org.uk or call 01506 823714. If you have special access or other requirements, please get in touch.

Book your free tickets here

The speakers will include:

Tom Addyman

Tom is an archaeologist with particular skills in interpreting standing buildings.  He established Addyman Archaeology,  a division of Simpson and Brown Architects, which is now one of the leading archaeological companies in the north of Britain concerned with historic building, recording and analysis. He has undertaken building analysis for English Heritage at Bolsover Castle, and National Trust for Scotland at Culzean Castle and Historic Scotland at Queensberry House, part of the Scottish Parliament site.  His close examination of Kinneil House has helped revise the generally accepted story of its development.

Arkady Hodge

Arkady is an independent historian with a wide knowledge of medieval and later Scottish History.  He has undertaken many research projects on Historic Environment Scotland properties including Edinburgh Castle, Inchcolm Abbey and of course Kinneil House.  For this project, he trawled through archival material uncovering some previously overlooked documents which shed new light on how the 16th century Hamilton family saw themselves and how they furnished their house.

Michael Pearce

Michael is an independent historian and expert in medieval and renaissance interiors, including painted decoration.  He has undertaken many research projects for Historic Environment Scotland including recent work on Craignethan Castle, which like Kinneil was built for a branch of the Hamilton family.  Michael’s particular expertise enables him to assess the painted decoration within the house and also share some fascinating details of how the family used the house, down to what was on their table for dinner!

Geoff Bailey

Geoff is Archaeologist & Keeper of Local History for Falkirk Community Trust.  He has an unparalleled knowledge of the Bo’ness area, and of Kinneil House in its wider context, including its relationship to the Antonine Wall and later settlements.  He has published widely on the history and archaeology of the area.  He brings this deep understanding to the project to talk about the designed landscape around Kinneil in its heyday.

Adrian Maldonado

Adrian is an archaeologist and Research Associate with the Glasgow Iona Research Group, University of Glasgow. He specialises in archaeology of the late Iron Age, early monasticism and medieval Christianity and has most recently been involved with a major project on the early monastic site at Iona Abbey. Adrian will talk about the unique Kinneil Cross, giving us some context and background for this very remarkable piece of sculpture.

The Experts’ Day has been organised by Historic Environment Scotland (Charity Reg. No. SC045925) with the support of The Friends of Kinneil (Charity Reg. No. SC038368) and Falkirk Community Trust (Charity Reg. No. SC042403). For details visit http://www.kinneil.org.uk

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The Hippodrome Cinema in Bo’ness – the main venue for the free community conference, exploring the history of Kinneil House. (The afternoon session will continue in Bo’ness Library, upstairs.) The event is open to everyone, and tickets are free. Book clicking the link below.

Book your free tickets here

If you have queries, email: info@kinneil.org.uk or call 01506 823714. If you have special access or other requirements, please get in touch.

Posted by: ed | October 10, 2017

Visit spooky Kinneil House on October 29

Poster for the Halloween event at Kinneil House in 2017.

Spooky Kinneil House in Bo’ness is opening its doors just before Hallowe’en.

The mansion, which dates back to the early 1500s, will be open for free tours on Sunday, October 29, 2017 from 1 to 4 p.m. (last admission 3.30 p.m.)

Youngsters are being urged to turn up in fancy dress. The best-dressed child will win a book token.

Volunteers from The Friends of Kinneil charity will be on hand to telling chilling tales about the building’s past. The House is said to be haunted by the ghost of a White Lady. The volunteer guides will also reveal how local people were tried for witchcraft in the Bo’ness area.

Kinneil House – which boasts its own internal gravestones (remnants from nearby Kinneil Churchyard) – was once home to the powerful Hamilton family.

The ancient building also features some of the best renaissance wall paintings in Scotland – and has links to characters such as James Watt and Mary, Queen of Scots.

The free open afternoon will be the last chance for people to see inside Kinneil House (the centrepiece of Kinneil Estate) in 2017. The Friends, in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland, will re-open the building again in Spring 2018 with a new series of open days.

A spokesman for The Friends said: “The old house gets quite spooky at this time of year. In fact, you never know what you might discover!

“Hallowe’en open days are always popular at Kinneil and we’re encouraging folks to come along to enjoy the seasonal fun. Children, particularly those in fancy dress, will be very welcome – with a prize for the best-dressed child. However, anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The last admission this year is 3.30 p.m., so don’t be late!”

Kinneil Museum – in the grounds of the surrounding Kinneil Estate – will also be open. The museum features relics dating back to Roman times, as well video displays and hands-on exhibits. There will also be a pop-up cafe, selling drinks and snacks.

* Kinneil House, Museum, and Estate are on the western edge of Bo’ness, just off the A993 (Dean Road) – the main road through Bo’ness. The postcode for the site is EH51 0PR. For maps, and more information, visit www.kinneil.org.uk. You’ll also find updates on social media: www.twitter.com/kinneil and www.fb.com/kinneil

 

Posted by: ed | September 26, 2017

Free event to celebrate James Watt’s Cottage

jameswatt-panel.jpgFamilies are being invited to enter a world of invention and imagination at Kinneil Estate in Bo’ness on Saturday, September 30, 2017.

With over 800 votes, James Watt’s Cottage in Bo’ness was recently crowned as one of Scotland’s six most spectacular Hidden Gems as part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

An event called “Imagine James Watt” will celebrate this win with a free day of storytelling and activities at the site.

On Saturday, September 30, Imagine James Watt will take place in the grounds of Kinneil Estate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visitors can join interpreters playing Watt and his business partner for storytelling tours, rebuild the site in LEGO, create the cottage of the future in Minecraft or add their own thoughts and images to the Impact Wall. The neighbouring Kinneil Museum will also be open early to support the event.

The event has been organised by Dig It! 2017, in association with The Friends of Kinneil charity, as part of Scottish Archaeology Month.

Ian Shearer from The Friends of Kinneil said: “Our thanks to so many people who rightly recognised the significance of this little building for technology and innovation, and voted the Watt Cottage one of Scotland’s Hidden Gems. Come along to Saturday’s free event to find out more about its fascinating 250-year-old story, take part in fun activities, visit the Museum and see other historical features in Kinneil Estate’s beautiful parkland. 

“Family activities include LEGO and Minecraft – that’s a good name when you think of the area’s mining past –  and storytelling of how and why James Watt and Dr John Roebuck partnered together to develop the condensing engine in secret at Kinneil!”

The James Watt Cottage may well be the only surviving building in Scotland with a direct link to Watt’s life and work.

The partnership between this legendary engineer and Dr John Roebuck – who lived at Kinneil House – led to their patent for the separate condenser, which was used in the Watt steam engine, a key point in the Industrial Revolution.

The James Watt Cottage was used as his secluded workshop for the ongoing development of their engine and there are no better-surviving monuments to the story of their world-changing work in the 1760s.

The “Scotland in Six – Hidden Gems” campaign drew in over 12,000 votes in total and was coordinated by Dig It! 2017, the year-long celebration of Scottish archaeology.

To learn more about the event, visit www.kinneil.org.uk or www.facebook.com/kinneil

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Notes to Editors:

Dig It! 2017

  • Dig It! 2017 is a year-long celebration of Scottish archaeology, coordinated by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and Archaeology Scotland for the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
  • Dig It! 2017 is primarily funded by Historic Environment Scotland.
  • For more information, visit www.digit2017.com or join the conversation using #DigIt2017

The Friends of Kinneil

  • The Friends of Kinneil charity has been set up to help promote and develop Kinneil Estate and Foreshore in Bo’ness (Charity Registration Number: SC038368).
  • For more information, please visit www.kinneil.org.uk/friends

 

Further Information
For additional details contact:
Julianne McGraw
Dig It! 2017 Communications Officer
Phone: 0131 247 4066
Email: julianne@digit2017.com

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