Old Kinneil Church gives up its secrets

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200 Kinneil Church by James Clelland pic of the week
VLUU L200 / Samsung L200 Kinneil Church by James Clelland pic of the week

Local volunteers have been digging and surveying on the Kinneil Estate in Bo’ness to safeguard the long-term survival of one of the area’s most historic landmarks.

Over the last two months the volunteers have been working closely with the Falkirk Community Trust’s keeper of archaeology and local history, Geoff Bailey, to uncover all that remains of the ancient Kinneil Estate Church and ensure it is protected from further damage.

The work is one of 50 projects that make up the recently launched Inner Forth Landscape Initiative, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which aims to reveal the hidden cultural, historical and natural wealth of the upper reaches of the Firth of Forth. During the work the volunteers made some fascinating discoveries.

They found seven early 17th century carved stones showing hammers and picks.

They also uncovered two previously unrecorded grave markers which were nearly 800 years old.

Geoff Bailey said: “Kinneil is an exceptional design landscape of the late 17th century.

‘‘I was delighted when the IFLI wanted to do some work on the church and their 
involvement provided an opportunity for us to teach volunteers some of the skills needed to record local monuments.”

Once all the remains have been surveyed and recorded the site will be re-covered to make sure there is no further damage.

A complete history of the church is being compiled by the Falkirk Local History Society.