charities, heritage

More House guests at Kinneil thanks to Facebook

VISITORS to historic Kinneil House in Bo’ness in central Scotland, soared in 2011, according to the charity The Friends of Kinneil.

The group said 2025 people toured inside the mansion in the past year, compared to 1622 visitors in 2010 – an increase of nearly 25 per cent.

The charity said strong media support and extra campaigning through social networks like Twitter and Facebook helped boost attendance.** It is now planning a further series of free open days for 2012. Details will be available soon at http://www.kinneil.org.uk

Maria Ford, the chair of The Friends of Kinneil, said: “The numbers relate to visitors seeing inside Kinneil House during the five free open afternoons we run in conjunction with Historic Scotland – and visitors to the building during a history tour of the estate in the summer. For six afternoons, these are impressive figures.

“Of course many more people tour the grounds of the House, and visit the surrounding Kinneil Estate, throughout the year. It’s a fantastic place to visit at any time.”

Local volunteers work with staff from Historic Scotland to provide free access to the building during special open days. The mansion includes some of the best renaissance wall paintings in Scotland, and was recently used to inspire the restoration of the Palace at Stirling Castle.The House was closed to regular visitors in the 1980s, ironically due to poor visitor numbers. Since 2006, The Friends of Kinneil has been working with Historic Scotland to provide better access.

Kinneil House dates back to the 15th century and was remodelled during the 16th and 17th centuries. It was home to the powerful Dukes of Hamilton and was built close to the line of the Roman Antonine Wall.The wider Kinneil Estate boasts the remains of a cottage used by inventor James Watt, the ruins of a medieval church and the remnants of a Roman fortlet.

Mrs Ford added: “The growing interest in Kinneil House and its wider estate also shows through the numbers of visits to our website: www.kinneil.org.uk … In 2010, we had 12190 ‘views’. That grew to 17,508 in 2011 – and there’s still a few days of the year to go. That’s an increase of more than 43 per cent.

“Again sites like Facebook – and people sharing information about us on social networks – drove traffic to our website. And the support of our friends in the traditional media has also been brilliant. It’s great to have so many people interested in what’s happening at Kinneil. We hope the trend continues in 2012.”

She continued: “We’ll re-start our open days at Kinneil House in the spring. However, the surrounding parkland is open throughout the year, as is the lovely Kinneil Museum, which boasts an audio-visual show and hands-on exhibits. The museum is normally open from Monday to Saturday afternoons through the year (with a closure for the New Year holidays). Admission is free.”

For more information visit http://www.kinneil.org.uk – or “like” the charity at its Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/kinneil to get regular updates.

** The PR Store provides pro-bono support for the charity, both via traditional media and online.

charities, heritage

Search for views on historic parklands

A CHARITY is launching a new project to find out what local residents think of Kinneil Estate and Kinneil Foreshore.

The Friends of Kinneil hopes the work will also generate greater awareness of the facilities and attractions at both sites – and even attract new money into future projects.

The group is targeting the Deanfield area of Bo’ness – close to the park areas – for door-to-door surveys. There will also be drop in sessions at local venues.

It’s now recruiting a paid project worker to help carry out the community consultation process.

For more information, please visit http://www.kinneil.org.uk/deanfield

Maria Ford, the chair of The Friends of Kinneil, said: “Deanfield borders the Foreshore area and is close to Kinneil Estate. We want to know more about how local residents use the spaces, and if they make use of all the facilities. For instance they may not know about the free, regular events on offer – such as health walks and open days. We’d also like to hear about any improvements they’d like to see.

“The Estate and Foreshore are well used spaces and I’m sure people will have lots to say.”

She added: “The charity – since its launch in 2006 – has campaigned for improvements to the Kinneil area, and have won a lot of successes. But we’re constantly talking to people to define future priorities and to respond to local people. Hopefully this research project will help.”

Funding for the project has been secured through the Growing Communities Fund, a small grants programme aimed at helping local groups and people in regeneration areas to become more involved in their communities. The fund also helps residents influence local services and improve their local areas.

The fund is managed locally by CVS Falkirk and District – using cash from the Scottish Government’s Fairer Scotland Fund. Local CVS chief executive Kenny Murphy said: “We’ve worked with The Friends of Kinneil since the group was established and have seen the organisation grow from a small campaign group into a hard-working charity, trying to deliver real results for local people in the Bo’ness area. The charity already runs well supported open days at Kinneil House and other activities to promote the Kinneil area. But we know they want to do more.

“Consultation activities like this can help groups build up a clear picture of local needs and help support future funding bids to make improvements. The project may also attract more volunteers to help The Friends of Kinneil. We hope the people of Deanfield will support the consultation process and get involved in some way.”

charities, heritage

Remembering James Watt

ONE of Scotland’s greatest sons is being remembered this week – exactly 275 years after he was born.

The inventor James Watt was born in Greenock on January 19, 1736.

He went on to develop and improve the steam engine – the workhorse which powered the Industrial Revolution.

On Friday (Jan 21), the charity The Friends of Kinneil in Bo’ness – where Watt worked on early steam prototypes – will celebrate the inventor’s legacy with a “James Watt Supper”, an alternative to the traditional Burns Supper.

Maria Ford, the chair of The Friends, said: “Probably very few of us have a copy of Rabbie Burns’ Complete Works in our homes – but nearly everyone will have lightbulbs measured in Watts.

“It says a lot about Watt’s legacy that a unit of power was named after him. This amazing man deserves credit for his work – and in the week of his birthday we intend to do just that.”

The Friends promote the historic Kinneil Estate in Bo’ness – dominated by the imposing Kinneil House.

Watt was invited there by a local industrialist Dr. John Roebuck, who wanted him to improve the way water was pumped out of local mines. A cottage workshop – still standing in the estate – was constructed for Watt to use. The inventor worked at Kinneil for two spells in 1769 and 1770.

Sadly, the doctor – one of the founders of the famous Carron Iron Works in Falkirk – went bankrupt in 1773 and had to sell his share in Watt’s patent to one of his creditors, a Matthew Boulton of Birmingham.

And so a new partnership was born.

Watt moved to England and the improved steam engine – further developed with the help of Matthew Boutlon – revolutionised the use of steam power in Britain’s mills and factories.

Mrs Ford said: “Had John Roebuck not hit money problems, history could have been very different. But we’re still proud of the important part Kinneil played in the story of James Watt.

“On Friday, we’ll toast his life and works – and hear some immortal memories from a local historian, Ian Scott. Some of our members will also make their own contributions as we remember how James Watt changed the world.”

The Friends have organised typical 18th century music for private party – organised for charity members and invited guests in a local church hall.

The bill of fare will feature a modern take on Salamagundi, a popular dish of the time, followed by “Steam pudding” – the obvious choice for dessert.

A hot toddy will also be in offer to help toast the man behind the improved steam engine.

The charity has updated its website to give people more information on James Watt and his links with Bo’ness. Visit www.kinneil.org.uk/jameswatt

charities, heritage, promotions, tourism

Romans and pirates in Bo’ness this weekend

ROMANS and pirates are heading to Bo’ness in central Scotland this weekend . . . to help celebrate the town’s amazing history.

On Saturday (Sept 19), members of the Antonine Guard Roman re-enactment group will be in town centre to mark the high point of the “The Big Roman Week” – a mini-festival to mark the area’s Roman roots. There will also be an Italian Market and Italian music.

The Hippodrome Cinema is joining in the fun, showing the Oscar-winning Roman epic, Spartacus, on Saturday afternoon. The Bo’ness Italian Market opens for business at 10 a.m. on Saturday and runs until 4 p.m. The movie starts at 2.30 p.m.

On Sunday afternoon (Sept 20), the focus shifts to Kinneil Estate, for the Bo’ness park’s annual free heritage day.

This year’s theme is Pirates – giving a nod to Bo’ness’s past as leading seaport.

Pirates will perform in the main arena, there will be swash buckling storytelling, face painting, a charity market and lots more for all the family to enjoy. Children are being encouraged to dress up as pirates and take part in the Central FM roadshow.

The heritage day fun kicks off with free tours of historic Kinneil House, starting at noon (last admission 3.30 p.m.) The Council-run event gets fully underway at 1 p.m. and ends at 5 p.m.

Kinneil Museum will be open – allowing youngsters to try making their very own Roman coins and find out more about the estate’s rich history. The Italian Market will also move to the Estate for its second day in the town.

Falkirk Council’s convener of leisure, tourism and community, Councillor Adrian Mahoney, said: “It should be a great heritage weekend – offering something for everyone.

“There will be fantastic Italian products on sale over two days in Bo’ness, re-enactment groups to entertain families, fun for children – and a chance to learn a little about the amazing history of Bo’ness and Kinneil. Flyers giving full details are available at local outlets, including Bo’ness library.”

http://www.kinneil.org.uk/bigromanweek
http://www.kinneil.org.uk/heritageday09
http://www.falkirk.gov.uk/the_area/whats_on/event.asp?eid=20876&mid=2686

charities, heritage, leisure, tourism

Town set to celebrate Roman roots

A HISTORIC town is getting set to celebrate its rich, Roman roots.

Talks, movies, an Italian market – and much more – have all been lined up in Bo’ness as part of The Big Roman Week.

Next week’s mini festival has been organised to mark the birthday of Emperor Antoninus Pius, the Roman leader who built the Antonine Wall from Bo’ness to Old Kilpatrick. The Wall was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site last year. Bo’ness boasts the remains of its own Roman fortlet within Kinneil Estate and has artefacts on display in the neighbouring Kinneil Museum.

The celebratory Week will kick off on Monday, September 14 – with special activities in the Museum, including Roman coin-making for younger visitors. Bo’ness shops are also supporting the event, highlighting Italian and Roman themed products.

On Wednesday, September 16, the historic Hippodrome Cinema in Bo’ness will showcase a 1960 film about the Antonine Wall – with a real-life introduction from Falkirk Council’s archaeologist Geoff Bailey. There will also be a screening of the swords and sandals epic, Spartacus, starring Kirk Douglas, on September 19.

Bo’ness Community Council is playing its part, staging a talk on plans to create a new copy of the Bridgeness Roman Distance Slab. The tablet is thought to be one of the best Roman relics in Britain and was found in the Bridgeness area of Bo’ness in the 19th century. (The original is now on show at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.) The community council is hosting a free evening talk in Bo’ness Library on September 17 to outline its proposals to install a proper replica in the town.

The highlight of the Week will be an Italian Market in Bo’ness town centre on Saturday, September 19 (the Emperor’s birthday). Some Roman visitors also plan to make an appearance. The Italian Market will also be at Kinneil Heritage Day on Sunday, September 20 (along with a host of other attractions).

Leaflets promoting the Week are available from Bo’ness Library and online at http://www.kinneil.org.uk/bigromanweek

The festival is idea of the heritage group, The Friends of Kinneil, which runs free open days at historic Kinneil House – itself built on the line of the Antonine Wall.

Chairman Bruce Henderson said: “The Emperor Antoninus Pius was born on September 19, in AD 86, more than 1900 years ago. He extended the Roman Empire into Scotland and was, of course, responsible for ordering the construction of the Antonine Wall, which runs from Bo’ness to Old Kilpatrick. Parts of the Wall can still be seen at Kinneil Estate, and in other parts of the Falkirk area.

“We thought the Big Roman Week would be a good way to celebrate our Roman origins and make people more aware of how our town became the northern frontier of the Roman Empire.”

Bo’ness Councillor Adrian Mahoney, Falkirk Council’s convener of leisure, tourism and community, said: “Through activities in Kinneil Museum and the Hippodrome, the Council is supporting the Big Roman Week. Something like this helps to promote the fantastic heritage we have in this area and works to attract visitors to the town. Let’s hope this festival is a success and becomes an annual event.”

Councillor Mahoney said he hoped other communities along the line of the Antonine Wall could be involved in future events.

Mary-Jane Armstrong from Town Centre Management added: “This is the first time we’ve brought an Italian Market to Bo’ness. It will be a key part of the Big Roman Week – and we hope it will be popular with local people.”

———————

http://www.kinneil.org.uk/bigromanweek

———————

BIG ROMAN WEEK – BO’NESS – SEPT 14 – 20, 2009

ALL WEEK – Discover Roman artefacts in Kinneil Museum, Kinneil Estate, Bo’ness. During The Big Roman Week: special activities for children.
Play Roman board games or design your own personalised Roman coin.
Suitable for children aged 5 to 12 years. All children must be accompanied by a supervisory adult. Museum open Monday to Saturday from 12.30 p.m. to 4 p.m. (and on Sunday, September 20, for Kinneil Heritage Day). Free.

ALL WEEK – SHOP LIKE ROMANS: Discover Italian and Roman themed products across shops in historic Bo’ness Town Centre.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 – FILM: The Antonine Wall (silent), introduced by archaeologist Geoff Bailey. Hippodrome Cinema, Hope Street, Bo’ness. Film starts at 11 a.m. Cafe opens at 10.30 a.m.
Tickets £4.75 (inc. refreshments). Box Office 01324 506850.
http://www.falkirk.gov.uk/hippodrome.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 – TALK: The Bridgeness Slab. Find out about Bo’ness Community Council’s plans to bring a full-size replica of the Bridgeness Slab – one of the best Roman relics in Britain – to the town. Bo’ness Library (upstairs), Scotland’s Close, Bo’ness. Starts at 7.30 p.m. Free. In association with the National Museums of Scotland and The Friends of Kinneil.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 – ITALIAN MARKET: Sample the fare of modern-day Romans on Emperor Antoninus Pius’s birthday. Bo’ness Town Centre, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In association with Bo’ness Town Centre Management.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 – FILM: Spartacus (PG). Stanley Kubrick’s epic
(3 hrs) Roman movie. Starring Kirk Douglas. Hippodrome Cinema, Hope Street, Bo’ness. Film starts 2.30 p.m. Ticket price £5 (conc. £3.75).
Box Office 01324 506850. http://www.falkirk.gov.uk/hippodrome.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 – KINNEIL HERITAGE DAY, Kinneil Estate, Bo’ness.
Visit Kinneil Museum to find out about the Romans and see the Italian Market in the Estate. Historic Kinneil House (on the line of the Roman Antonine Wall) will also be open until 4 p.m. Plus lots of other family fun. Event runs from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. See a full timetable here.

The Big Roman Week has been organised by The Friends of Kinneil in conjunction with Falkirk Council, Town Centre Management and Bo’ness Community Council.

charities, heritage, tourism

Duchess comes home this weekend

SHE was born at the court of Charles I – and lived until the reign of George I. She was instrumental in the development of the town of Bo’ness . . . and became known as the “good duchess” because of her charitable works. And she was one of the leading Scottish ladies of the 17th century.

Now, Anne, Duchess of Hamilton is to be brought back to life – with the help of an interpreter from Historic Scotland.

An actress playing the great lady will appear at Kinneil House in Bo’ness this weekend – as part of a national celebration to mark the year of Homecoming and the great families of Scotland.

The performer will take part in two, free open days being run by Historic Scotland, in conjunction with the charity The Friends of Kinneil. The House will be open on Saturday, April 25, and Sunday, April 26, from noon until 4 p.m. (last admission 3.30 p.m.) There will be performances from “Duchess Anne” at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. – as well as tours of the building.

Bruce Henderson, the chairman of The Friends of Kinneil, said: “This special event will really bring the history of Kinneil back to life, and runs as part of a wider initiative to tell the story of the great families of Scotland. Buildings across the country are taking part.

“A performer will play Anne, Duchess of Hamilton – a key member of the Hamilton family and a formidable lady of the time.

“Visitors will be taken back to 1692, just after the death of the Duchess’s daughter-in-law at Kinneil. We’ll hear about the Duchess’s large family; the Civil War and Restoration; her father’s execution; her mother’s early death; the loss of her homes (including Kinneil) and much more.

“Each performance should last around 20 minutes, and will be complemented by tours of the inside of the building, supported by our volunteers.

“We think it will be a fantastic event – and a great addition to the Homecoming celebrations taking place across Scotland.”

Kinneil House, which dominates a large parkland – Kinneil Estate – dates back to the 15th century and was once a popular home for the Dukes of Hamilton. The building was re-modelled in the 1540s and transformed into a stately home in the 1660s. In the early part of the 20th century, the house and estate were sold to Bo’ness Town Council. In 1936, the local authority stated demolition work, but halted the process when the rare renaissance wall paintings – said to be some of the best in Scotland – were discovered by a worker.

The buildings were put into the care of the Ministry of Works, now Historic Scotland.

For the past two decades, access to the house has been limited. However, Historic Scotland has been working with The Friends of Kinneil group to improve public access to the building.

The open weekend marks the first two of five, free open days at Kinneil House this year.

Visitors will be able to access further tours on:

Saturday, June 27, 2009 (Bo’ness Fair event)
Sunday, September 20, 2009 (Kinneil Heritage Day)
Saturday, October 31, 2009 (Hallowe’en event)

Neighbouring Kinneil Museum – which provides information on the history of the House and Estate – will also be open.

For more information please visit http://www.kinneil.org.uk/homecoming

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. Kinneil House is just off the A993 – the main road through Bo’ness in central Scotland. For location information visit http://www.kinneil.org.uk/map

2. Kinneil House is only during special open days. However, neighbouring Kinneil Museum, run by Falkirk Council, is open to the public throughout the year. The Museum is normally open Monday to Saturday from 12.30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. The surrounding Kinneil Estate features remains of the Antonine Wall and is part of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site.

3. Kinneil House is one of 345 outstanding historic properties and sites in the care of Historic Scotland. These include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country, including Stirling, Edinburgh and Urquhart Castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae. Find out more by visiting http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk

charities, heritage, housing

New book on Scotland’s oldest housing association

SCOTLAND’S oldest housing association today celebrated 60 years of success – launching a new book charting its history.

Viewpoint Housing Association opened its first development in 1948. Sixty years on, the Association owns 1400 properties and three care homes across Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife. It’s also become the largest provider of sheltered housing in the Scottish capital.

The group was founded “by women, for women” to help ladies of limited means get a home of their own. At its core was Jane Cunningham, the daughter of a Free Church Minister, who inspired a small group of women to take “matters into their own hands”.

Today, at a ceremony at the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh – Viewpoint’s chairman, Dr. Roger Smith, reflected on the early years and the substantial growth since then.

He made his comments as he helped launch the new book, “Exceeding Expectations”, documenting Viewpoint’s history. The publication – which is being sold by the group and via booksellers like Amazon – will raise funds for the charity.

Said Dr. Smith: “The early years of the Association were to be spent fundraising, and purchasing the odd property here and there. It was a real hand-to-mouth existence. I doubt very much the main founder, Miss Jane Cunningham, would recognise what Viewpoint Housing Association has become.

“I hope, though, that she would be proud that the Association now owns around 1400 properties and manages many more. We now provide 120 care home beds, have a turnover in the region of £10 million and employ over 300 staff.”

He added: “There was no government funding in the early days. There was an almost continuous round of whist drives, coffee mornings and other fundraising initiatives.

“Companionship and unstinting loyalty to the organisation were the drivers, and it is absolutely incredible what that achieved. A biennial Easter Market was instigated in 1962. By 1967, Viewpoint had opened its first shop in Tanfield. At a time when charity shops were much less common, this was a pioneering step for the organisation.

“But in order to find out the rest of the story, you will have to buy the book!”

The chairman also thanked the Association’s bankers, the Royal Bank of Scotland, who contributed to the production of the book. He concluded: “It is an incredibly interesting story not only for those with an interest in housing, but also an informative social history of the period. Two books for the price of one is outstanding value and would make a great Christmas present.”

Dr. Smith was joined at the launch by some of the Association’s oldest residents – Edinburgh 100 year-olds Dan Orr and Margaret McNeill – as well as Scottish Liberal Democrat housing spokesman Ross Finnie MSP and invited guests.

Dan and Margaret with Viewpoint chair Roger and Ross Finnie

Mr Finnie said the new publication was “well researched and well written”. He told guests: “I congratulate you on this occasion and wish you well for the next 60 years.”

junegrainger-withbook

Also attending the event was Edinburgh pensioner June Grainger (81), who lives in a Viewpoint development in the Blackhall area of the city. She is pictured on the front of the new book.

• “Exceeding Expectations” (ISBN 978-0-95594276-0-9) by Laurence Wareing, is published by Viewpoint Housing Association. It is available directly from the Association, priced £10, or via booksellers such as Amazon.co.uk

• For more information contact Viewpoint Housing Association – by email: admin@viewpoint.org.uk

ABOUT VIEWPOINT HOUSING ASSOCIATION

1. Viewpoint’s main aim is to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of its tenants and care home residents – promoting independence, enabling choice and offering peace of mind in a safe and supported environment.

2. Viewpoint Housing Association is registered with Communities Scotland as a Registered Social Landlord and is also registered as a charity with the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR).

3. The Association manages properties in Edinburgh, East Lothian, Fife and Midlothian. The properties include:
i. sheltered/retirement housing
ii. enhanced supported housing
iii. mainstream properties
iv. amenity properties
v. alarmed housing
vi. wheelchair housing
vii. loanstock housing
4. Find out more online at http://www.viewpoint.org.uk

VIEWPOINT – PART OF THE ROWAN GROUP

Viewpoint Housing Association is a member of the Rowan Group, which has been one of the City of Edinburgh Council’s preferred partners for housing development funding since 2004. Collectively, the Rowan’s Group’s eight members – Barony, Dunedin Canmore, Manor Estates, Margaret Blackwood, Muirhouse, Prospect and Viewpoint Housing Associations, Link Group and Malcolm Homes Ltd – own over 8,500 properties in Edinburgh, with a further 8,000 properties nationwide.

By combining members’ expertise, the Rowan Group provides high quality affordable social rented housing, housing for sale and private rental, or purpose designed housing for people with varied needs. Rowan endeavours to promote best practice and encourage social inclusion and is innovative in supporting the communities in which it works. http://www.rowangroup.org

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Please contact Graham Harper, Viewpoint Housing Association, telephone: 0131 668 4247; email: graham.harper@viewpoint.org.uk

Media enquiries: Adrian Mahoney, The PR Store, telephone 01506 823714 / 07967 150560; email: adrian@theprstore.net

heritage, promotions, tourism

World Heritage Site is toast of town

SCOTLAND’s latest World Heritage Site will become the toast of a town this weekend.

Organisers of the Bo’ness Real Ale Festival are launching a special beer glass to mark the area’s new status as part of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site.

Revellers simply need to buy one of the commemorative pint glasses, featuring Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, to gain entry to the event.

The Festival runs on Friday, October 10 and Saturday, October 11, in Bo’ness Town Hall. As well as dozens of real ales, there will be live music on both nights.

Money raised from the event will go to local charities and to help organise next year’s Festival. Last year, organisers at the Bo’ness Real Ale Appreciation Society donated £1900 to local good causes and are hoping for a similar success this year.

BRAAS chairman Rob Willox said: “This year’s Bo’ness Real Ale Festival will be as good – and maybe even better – than last year. We have some great entertainment with music from Pure Malt on Friday and the Urban Tonkerers on Saturday.

“Each year, we issue a special beer glass to mark something of importance to Bo’ness. This year, we are commemorating the successful bid to turn the Roman Antonine Wall – which runs from Bo’ness to Old Kilpatrick – into a World Heritage Site.”

The Real Ale Festival runs on Friday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and on Saturday from 12 noon to 11 p.m. – and is an official Fringe event of the 2008 Mod, which is being held in nearby Falkirk.

Mr Willox added: “Each year BRAAS attempts to offer a good selection of the available ales and beers from our local Central Scotland brewers. This year is no different and, in fact, there are three new breweries and nine new beers to the festival – as well as real cider for people to try.”

For more information, please visit http://www.braas.bo-ness.org.uk

The Wall was built by the Emperor Antoninus Pius to hold back Caledonian tribes from invading southern Scotland, then under Roman rule. Unlike the stone-built Hadrian’s Wall, the Antonine Wall consisted of a rampart of soil, faced with turf, resting on a stone foundation. It stood 12 feet high, and was protected on the north side by a wide, deep V-shaped ditch. It was abandoned around AD 160, when the Romans retreated to Hadrian’s Wall.

heritage, promotions

PR Store boss on iPlayer

The PR Store’s boss featured on BBC’s Out of Doors programme at the weekend – in the second part of a slot on the Roman Antonine Wall.

You can hear the programme again on BBC’s iPlayer.

Adrian Mahoney was speaking about Kinneil Estate in Bo’ness as part of his role as a local councillor.

Visit the BBC website to hear the programme again. (Until August 1)

And scroll the player to around 1 hour, seven minutes into the programme to hear the relevant section.

heritage, tourism

Hundreds visit Kinneil

More than 200 people flocked to historic Kinneil House in Bo’ness on Saturday.

The A-listed mansion provided free access for four hours as part of an open afternoon, run by Historic Scotland and volunteers from the charity The Friends of Kinneil. A Friends spokesman said: “The House is only open a few times a year, so many people took the opportunity to come along and find out more about Kinneil’s rich history.”

Saturday’s event tied in with the celebrations for the 100th Bo’ness Fair. Kinneil House was one of the original venues for the children’s festival.

The House – built by the Dukes of Hamilton – boasts an impressive history, with ties to Mary, Queen of Scots, James Watt and the philosopher Dugald Stewart. It also has some of the best renaissance wall paintings in Scotland.

Two further free open days are planned this year, September 21 and November 1. For full details, and to find out more about the House and Kinneil, visit http://www.kinneil.org.uk