Opening the ‘hidden’ parts of landmark

Some parts of Kinneil House are normally closed to the public
Some parts of Kinneil House are normally closed to the public

Hidden parts of the historic Kinneil House will be open to the public as part of a series of free open days.

Visitors are being given the chance to explore more of the 16th century mansion in Bo’ness as part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

The events, which will start later this month, have been organised by Historic Environment Scotland and the Friends of Kinneil.

For the 2017 season, history lovers will be able to discover the roofless section of the palace part of the house and gain access to view the main tower area.

Adrian Mahoney from the Friends said: “Historic Environment Scotland has been carrying out works to allow us to show off more of the interiors of this amazing building.

“If you’ve been before, come back and see these new sections in 2017.”

Eight free open events have been organised for the year, taking place between the end of March and October 29, and have been programmed to tie in with national and local events.

The first event on March 25 coincides with the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.

Mr Mahoney said: “With lots of visitors coming to the town for the festival, we thought it was a good idea to open Kinneil House at the same time.

“The March 25 morning opening will allow festival-goers to have a quick tour of this wonderful building and then go to the movies later in the day.”

An April 23 open day takes place during the third anniversary of the opening of the John Muir Way, a walking route which runs past the house.

For the Scottish Festival of Museums and the UK’s Museums at Night celebrations, Kinneil House will be opening at night on May 19 with a second event planned for May 21,

June will see Bo’ness get dressed up for its annual Children’s Fair Festival. Kinneil House – an early location for the festival – will open the Sunday before the Fair on June 25. There will also be an additional opening on August 27, with performances from renaissance singers The Gargoyles of Gargunnock.

In September, the house and its wider estate will be the focus for Big Roman Week, a festival celebrating Falkirk district’s Roman roots.

The 2017 programme will end with a Hallowe’en themed opening on October 29 when visitors will hear spooky stories about the house’s past.

Visit or pick up a leaflet from libraries and local tourist attractions.