Historic Kinneil House in Bo’ness – which boasts a James Watt workshop in its grounds  – is hosting a free open event this Saturday, March 23, 2019.

The Friends of Kinneil charity has teamed up with Historic Environment Scotland to run free tours inside the mansion, which dates back to the 16th century and boasts amazing Renaissance wall paintings.

Tours will run from noon to 4 p.m., with the last admission at 3.30 p.m. For full details of this event in central Scotland, see below.

Visitors will also be able to explore the extensive parkland around the House, including the 18th century cottage workshop used by James Watt, the ruins of a medieval church, and the remains of a Roman fortlet, part of the Antonine Wall.

Listen to audio about the Watt cottage here . . . .

Watt’s workshop at Kinneil, Bo’ness

All tours on Saturday start from Kinneil Museum, the red-roofed building in front of Kinneil House.

The event is being run to support the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival, which is running in Bo’ness over the same weekend. 

Vintage silent movies of the Bo’ness Fair will also be on show in the museum through the afternoon.

For updates visit the social media feeds of The Friends of Kinneil on Facebook and Twitter for updates.



HOW: Book a timed tour of the House by visiting Kinneil Museum – the red-roofed building in front of the big mansion – on the day of the open day. Tours normally run every 15 minutes from noon, leaving from the museum and walking the short distance into the House. Last admission to the mansion is 3.30 p.m. Volunteer guides will be on hand to take the tours and to answer any questions. Additional volunteers are in the museum to help you. The Museum opens early around noon on open days (normally it opens at 12.30 p.m.).

COST: Admission to the House and the Museum is free of charge. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

ADVANCE TICKETS: Currently tour tickets are only available on the day from the museum. You can’t book tickets in advance or online. Numbers on each tour are limited for health and safety reasons.

ACCESS: The House is around 500 years old in parts – and doesn’t have a lift. Everyone can get access to the oldest section, the Tower House (albeit just to a platform inside the tower). For the Palace section, you have to go down a few stairs to reach the ground floor. There is also one flight of stairs up to the star attractions, the painted rooms. There are two further flights of stairs to displays on the top floor …. Neighbouring Kinneil Museum also has stairs; however, there is a ramped access to the ground floor and an accessible toilet. The Museum also has an iPad with images of rooms inside Kinneil House …. Key paths around the Estate are also accessible using wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

PARKING: In front of the House and museum. If in doubt, ask one of the volunteers across the site.

PHOTOGRAPHY: No flash photography is allowed in the painted rooms at Kinneil.

REFRESHMENTS: A stall selling drinks and sweet treats is normally operational during open days. If you want a meal, you can find cafes and restaurants around Bo’ness. (Sorry – but you can’t take food or drinks into Kinneil House itself!)

OTHER THINGS TO SEE: The museum offers displays and maps about the surrounding Estate, which also boasts a Roman fortlet, the ruins of a medieval church and a cottage workshop used by inventor James Watt.

DIRECTIONS: Kinneil House, Museum and Estate is at the western edge of Bo’ness in central Scotland, a short drive from Edinburgh. The postcode is EH51 0PR.

QUERIES: Ask volunteers at the event, or email the Friends: info@kinneil.org.uk 


The event on March 23, supports the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema, taking place at the historic Hippodrome Cinema and other venues around Bo’ness.

Download the festival brochure http://bit.ly/2TxZVEm