Sites and Monument Record: Kinneil House, Bo'ness (SMR 316)

Central block 1677 front but incorporating mid 16th century keep, gunloops for which exist on W elevation. 5 storeys, 3 bays. Rubble built, partly harled. Cornice and balustraded parapet. Roofless for several years, with replacement of c1977. Central door with lugged architrave and bracketed, segmental pediment. Square, 4-storey towers at each end (pyramidal roofs also reinstated) with turnpike stairs in rear re-entrant angles; S one with frame for big armorial panel (now inside), N links to mid 16th century NE part. N BLOCK: mid 16th century, L-plan with lean-to additions in re-entrant angle, 3-storeys. Vaulted 1st storey. Crowstepped gables. This block has important 16th century wall and ceiling decorations. The Parable Room, under a compartmented timber ceiling of 17th century date has walls divided by arcade of Corinthian pilasters with illustrative mural panels within.
Arbour Room has tunnel vaulting, wreaths of foliage with beasts, birds, lettering and roundels with busts. Overlaid 1621-4 by painted simulation of panelled dado and compartmented ribbed vault. Part of both schemes remain. A well lies in the boiler room on the ground floor.
The gatepiers are listed separately. 17th century, square-plan with engaged columns on the E face,
Cornice and square cap with ball finial. Squared rubble with ashlar dressings.
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Object detail

Site status
Site history notes
The Lands of Kinneil came into the possession of the Hamilton family in the late 13th century. The keep was built c1542 by the 2nd Earl of Arran. It was destroyed in 1570 by the Earl of Morton. 1677 Anne Duchess of Hamilton began a programme of renovation. Her son lived here for a short time, but the family rarely visited. By the late 18th century the house was being let. Dr John Roebuck, the Founder of the Carron iron works, lived here 1764-94. Dugald Stewart the philosopher was the last tenant 1809-1828. The House and parks were sold to Bo'ness Burgh c1923. The house was gutted and the roof removed in 1936-41 in preparation for demolition, and it was then that the wall and ceiling paintings were discovered and the house saved.
Site conservation date
0015-18th Century
Site grid ref
NS 9820 8056
Conservation status


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