The lands of Kinneil Estate were originally granted by King Robert I (the ‘Bruce’)
to Walter Fitzgilbert of Hamilton in 1323. The grounds remained in the ownership
of the Dukes of Hamilton until1922 when the former Bo’ness Town Council purchased
the woodland area and surrounds of Kinneil House under the Public Parks Act, for
the general public to have access to the woodland for walks and recreation.
A section of the Antonine Wall and a Roman fortlet dating from 142AD can be found
on the estate. Named as a British World Heritage Site in 2008, these have been partially
re-instated with the addition of interpretative signage.
The Kinneil Museum is housed in the 17th Century stable block at the Duchess
Anne Cottages in the Park, also displays detailed information about the Wall, and
the history of the Estate and the surrounding area in general.
The Kinneil Estate Masterplan
In order to protect and enhance Kinneil Estate as an important recreational resource and heritage asset a Masterplan for the Estate has been produced in partnership with relevant organisations and groups. The masterplan sets out a framework of themes, principles and opportunities to guide future development activity in both the House and Estate and lever in external funding.
The masterplan is available in both full and summarised format as PDFs (see right hand column). The masterplan references the Long Term Forest Plan as one component and a PDF of this plan is also available.
The Estate contains a large area of coniferous woodland, mostly planted between 1929 and 1949, eventually when timber prices fell the regular felling of trees to ‘thin’ them out stopped and the woodland became crowded, because the trees grew so close together they became tall and spindly, unable to support themselves in the face of strong winds, and fallen trees made the woods unsafe.
A 10-year management plan for the Woodlands was developed in partnership with Central Scotland Forest Trust (CSFT) and after a period of fundraising work started to ensure the long-term future of the woods, while also improving woodland diversity and safety.
All of the areas which were replanted have been fenced off to stop deer eating the new trees and while there are pedestrian gates there is not access to the whole area on horseback or cycle. Eventually the fencing can be taken down and the woods will be a pleasant environment for recreation. There are still a good number of woodland routes for everyone to use and the surfacing is being upgraded on key sections.
Wildlife ponds situated in the woodland and grassland areas of the Estate are particularly important for wildlife and a wide range of wild birds and waterfowl can be seen and heard. Please help us keep these areas special by taking your litter home with you.
Friends of Kinneil
The Friends of Kinneil group was established
in 2006 to help promote and develop Kinneil Estate. They run events and guided walks
and other fundraising events which go a long way to assisting the work to improve
and develop the Estate. Anyone interested in the estate can join the group and help
make improvements to the Kinneil Estate. Kinneil House itself is managed by