From the Romans to Mary Queen of Scots, and even the Industrial Revolution, Kinneil House has borne witness to some of the most exciting periods of Scottish history. Read on to find out more about the history of Kinneil House and why it's a must visit attraction.
Guided tours of the house can be booked every Saturday until September. Bookings must be made in advance with Historic Environment Scotland. Book your tour here.
The grounds of Kinneil Estate are still free to visit and The Friends of Kinneil also offer free guided outdoor history walks on certain days. Keep an eye on their social media and website for more details. Free downloadable audio guides and maps are also available here.
As well as touring Kinneil House, you can explore the grounds of Kinneil Estate, visit the free Kinneil Museum, housed in a 17th century stableblock, and see Kinneil's Roman Fortlet; a part of The Antonine Wall.
Why not take a cycle around the beautiful grounds of the Estate. Take a look at a family friendly Falkirk cycling itinerary that includes Kinneil Estate here.
Kinneil House is an impressive historic country house, considered among the finest of any house in Scotland. It features Rennaisance Art and is surrounded by woodland which holds remains of a Roman Fortlet. The House is the historic home of the Dukes of Hamilton and dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Subject to extensions and refurbishments over 300 years, it reflects the Hamiltons’ high status both inside and out. Kinneil House has connections to many key individuals and moments in history, from the Romans to Mary Queen of Scots, and the birthplace of James Watt's first steam engine.
Kinneil House interior
The House is built on Kinneil Estate, where the land was originally granted by King Robert I ('The Bruce’) to Walter Fitzgilbert of Hamilton in 1323. In 1922, the former Bo’ness Town Council purchased the woodland area and surrounds of Kinneil House for the general public to have access to the woodland for walks and recreation.
Also situated on the grounds of Kinneil Estate is Kinneil Museum. The musuem is located in the 17th century stable block of Kinneil House and acts as an interpretative centre for the Estate. The exhibition '2,000 Years of History' tells the story of the park from Roman times to the present day - Antoninus Pius, St Serf, Mary, Queen of Scots and James Watt are among the many historical characters associated with the Estate.
Just a short walk from the museum is Kinneil's Roman Fortlet; part of The Antonine Wall. The Wall was awarded World Heritage Site status in July 2008. Built by the Romans around AD142, as the north west frontier of their Empire, the wall once stretched right across the country, from Clyde to Forth.
Roman Fortlet, Kinneil Estate