Kinneil House in Bo’ness, properly Borrowstounness, a town in the Falkirk council area of Scotland.

The house was one of the homes of the Hamilton family. The House itself began life as a large 15th century fortified tower house. In the mid-16th century a ‘palace’ was built next to the tower to provide more elegant living quarters for the family. This building contains several murals on religious subjects thought to be amongst the finest surviving examples in Scotland.

Most of the house is just a shell as they were in the process of pulling it down when the murals were discovered. The roof has since been replaced, but the floors are missing in the main part of the house.

Finally, in the late 17th century, under the influence of the Duchess Anne Hamilton, two pavilions were created one of which linked the old tower to the ‘palace’. In the late 18th century, Dr John Roebuck of Carron, stayed in the house and it was he who brought the engineer James Watt to Kinneil where he worked on his improved steam engine in the little workshop at the back of the house.

Behind Kinneil House on the other side of the Gil Burn (stream) is the site of the village of Kinneil which was abandoned in the late 17th century. The ruins of the 12th century church survive with only the west gable standing.

The Roman fortlet of Kinneil was identified and excavated in the 1980s to the west of the house.


Related shots can be found at:
South Queensferry and Lowland Scotland

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  • hilarydougill
    hilarydougillalmost 7 years ago

    Fabulous capture, beautiful House, great

  • Thanks Hilary, if you take another look, you will see that I have added an explanation.

    – Tom Gomez

  • rockinsue
    rockinsuealmost 7 years ago

    great shot of this regal looking home

  • Thanks Susan, if you take another look, you will see that I have added an explanation.

    – Tom Gomez

  • hilarydougill
    hilarydougillalmost 7 years ago

    Fantastic legend, I told you , you should be with the Scottish Tourist Board.

  • Actually, once opon a time, when I used to do real work for a living, I worked for the Department of the Environment, Repair and Maintenance of Ancient monuments. I actually worked on Kinneil House. It was much more of a ruin then. The roof and all the floors of the main building had been collapsed. The murals on religious subjects mentioned are all in the right hand side. They were almost lost, but luckily someone realised how important they were and stopped the demolition of this national treasure.

    – Tom Gomez

  • LocoCow
    LocoCowalmost 7 years ago

    Wow, what a shame it would have been if this were demolished and lost forever…

  • rockinsue
    rockinsuealmost 7 years ago

    what a lot of reseach tou did, its great when you can read all about a place something i know i should do but never get round to

  • joak
    joakover 6 years ago

    yes tom its a beauty you have managed to get that nice pink type of effect that the masonary takes on in certain light and you got a lot more history in than me well done….i hope you dinny think i was stealin your thunder i honestly never saw this although i regularly check your stuff out.

  • Och awa wi yi, theirs plinty o room for us aw to hae a go. Betwin us, we kin promote Scoland and aw her wonders fir aw the world tae see.

    – Tom Gomez

  • joak
    joakover 6 years ago

    yee ha am wi you mate!

  • LavenderMoon
    LavenderMoonover 6 years ago

    Excellent, Tom.. I didn’t know you shot this one, either.. I never get time to look through all the ones I want to see!

  • Troy43
    Troy43over 6 years ago

    Hi I’ve been researching my Ancestory and recently found I have ties to this castle Through my 10th Great Grandfather James Watt so I will be purchasing a couple of these prints shortly.

    If there is anyone else related please get in contact.

  • Tom Gomez
    Tom Gomezover 6 years ago

    Hi Troy, that is amazing to find an ancestor of the great man. Without James Watt, the Industrial Revolution would have been somewhat later than it was and we may still all be using horse power.

    As well as this one, I have a few more shots of Kinneil, just click on any of the following links to see the particular shot:
    Kinneil House II
    Kinneil House III
    Kinneil Church
    The Age of Steam – this last one should be of particular interest to you as it shows the boiler and workshop where James Watt conducted his experiments.

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