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- Category: A
- Group Category Details: A
- See Notes
- Date Added: 22/02/1971
- Supplementary Information Updated: 23/03/2006
- Local Authority: Falkirk
- Planning Authority: Falkirk
- Burgh: Bo'Ness
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NS 98197 80557
- Coordinates: 298197, 680557
Late 15th century origins with much 16th and 17th century additions and remodelling. Important and impressive tower and 'palice' range, now partly gutted (see notes). Sandstone, coursed tooled and random rubble, some harl remains. Gunloops, crowstepped gables, pyramidal roofs, balustrading.
E (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: symmetrical section to left with 5-storey central 3-bay section with eaves cornice and balustraded parapet. Central doorpiece (now part-obscured by modern metal protective door) with lugged architrave and bracketed segmental pediment. The whole flanked by advanced lower 4-storey towers with pyramidal roofs. To right, large linked projecting wing to NE forms mid-16th century palice block with crowstepped gables, partly roofless.
Openings predominantly boarded up. Predominantly 20th century grey slate on roofed sections. Cast-iron rainwater goods, one hopper to W elevation dated, '1980'.
INTERIOR: tower block, without floors or partition walls. Some lath and plaster, plaster cornices, stone chimneypieces and staircases survive. Palice block contains important 16th century painted decoration. Parable Room with coffered oak ceiling and black line drawings with touches of colour set into architectural frames between dado and frieze. Predominantly depicts story of the Good Samaritan. Arbour Room, tunnel vaulted, contains mid 16th century and 1620s painted decoration part-removed to show earlier scheme. Foliate designs with didactic scrolls and roundels and depictions of biblical scenes, including Samson and Delilah and David and Bathsheba. 1620s trompe l'oeil painted panelling partly in place.
GATEPIERS AND BOUNDARY WALLS: to E, large impressive pair of 17th century square plan squared rubble and ashlar corniced and ball-finialed gatepiers with engaged columns to E face. To W, pair of later small droved sandstone polygonal pedestrial gatepiers, corniced with polygonal caps. Wall to SE, rubble with flat coping, further 17th century gatepier with engaged column now part-obscured by foliage. Sections of high and low rubble walls to NE.
Statement of Special Interest
SCHEDULED ANCIENT MONUMENT. PROPERTY IN CARE jointly with Falkirk Council. Part of an A group with Nos 2 and 4, 5, 6-8 Duchess Anne Cottages, Kinneil House bridge and Kinneil House walled garden.
An important and impressive tower house and palice range with significant wall and ceiling painted decoration reached from a now truncated avenue to the E. The tower house was probably begun by James, 1st Lord Hamilton in the 1470s and was frequently remodelled, and it was later said to have been blown up by the Earl of Morton in 1570. The large NE palice block was attached to the tower and was probably contructed c1553-5. It is likely that the second Marquess of Hamilton extended it in the 1620s. Anne, Duchess of Hamilton began a further phase of work in the 1670s, remodelling the tower as a formal centrepiece and adding the linking towers with pyramidal roofs of what was intended to be a U-plan building but the proposed SE block to balance the earlier NE palice block was never begun.
Kinneil House remained the property of the Hamiltons until 1936 when the building was sold to the burgh of Bo'ness who gave permission for it to be demolished. Upon discovery of the painted decoration work was halted, although the tower block had by then been gutted. Some restoration work was carried out to the wall and ceiling paintings in 1936-8 by John Houston. Some reroofing and replacement of rainwater goods took place in 1980. Much of the land to the E and SE has been built up with modern housing.
The house had two famous tenants in the 18th and 19th centuries. Dr John Roebuck, founder of the Carron Iron Works, lived there from 1764-94 and is buried in Carriden Old Church Churchyard (see separate list description). The moral philosopher Dugald Stewart was resident from 1809-28.
Kinneil House lies within the amenity zone for the Antonine Wall recommended in D N Skinner The Countryside of the Antonine Wall (1973), and which will form the basis of the buffer zone, yet to be defined, for the proposed Antonine Wall World Heritage Site.
Category changed from B to A, 23 March 2006.
1st edition Ordnance Survey map (1854-6). T J Salmon, BORROWSTOUNNESS AND DISTRICT (1913) pp23-53. RCAHMS, INVENTORY OF MONUMENTS AND CONSTRUCTIONS IN THE COUNTIES OF MIDLOTHIAN AND WEST LOTHIAN (1929) pp190-192. MacGibbon & Ross, THE CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND VOLUME III (1971 facsimile) pp228-231. W F Hendrie, BO'NESS IN OLD PICTURE POSTCARDS VOLUME 2 (1990) Nos 61 & 63. R Murray, BO'NESS - A GLIMPSE OF THE PAST (1995) p31. W F Hendrie, BO'NESS THE FAIR TOWN (1998) p71. R Jaques, FALKIRK AND DISTRICT (2001) pp126-129. Gifford & Walker, THE BUILDINGS OF SCOTLAND - STIRLING AND CENTRAL SCOTLAND (2002) pp254-262.
Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.
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