Visit to Kinneil House,
On Sunday 26th October 2014, which
unfortunately was wet and windy, 5 intrepid members of West
Lothian History and Amenity Society met Geoff Bailey at the Museum
within the grounds of Kinneil House, Bo'ness.
The house relies on a dedicated group
of volunteers to oversee and guide open days and Sunday 26th
October was the final Open Day of 2014.
We admired the the wonderful painted
walls and ceilings dating from the 16th and 17th century which had
saved the house from demolition in the 1960s and courtesy of the
Friends of Kinneil House we met The White Lady who is supposed to
haunt the house.
After our tour of the house we braved
the weather and headed into the grounds where Geoff painted a
vivid picture of what the estate must have looked like in its
prime. The orchard was famous for its soft fruits while the walled
garden produced flowers and vegetables. The paths through the wood
all led to a central point where there was an aviary and later
kennels and also within the grounds there was a tennis court,
bowling alley and curling rinks.
We walked up to the remains of the
church which dates from the 12th century and was built on the site
of an earlier church. It sits beside the site of the original
Kinneil Village and before the trees grew so tall the church was
used as a marker for ships navigating the river Forth.
We also walked up to see the remains
of the section of the Antonine Wall which runs through the estate.
It was a pleasure to have a tour of
Kinneil House and Estate with Geoff who is so enthusiastic and
knowledgeable and I would like to extend my thanks to him for
braving the elements to give us such a wonderful afternoon.