Kinneil House

Tom Gomez

Joined January 2008

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Artist's Description

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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