Kinneil  West Lothian


In 1882-4, Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Kinneil like this:

Kinneil, a village, a barony, and an ancient parish on the NW border of Linlithgowshire. The village, standing on the coast of the Firth of Forth, 5 furlongs WSW of Borrowstounness, shares in the business and institutions of that town, and contains ironworks, with four blast furnaces. Pop. (1861) 365, (1871) 370, (1881) 373. ...

The barony, which lies around the village, was given by Robert Bruce to Sir Walter Hamilton, ancestor of the Dukes of Hamilton, and has ever since remained in possession of his descendants. In its physical aspects, it is noted for an expanse of rich carse land contiguous to the Forth, and for traces of the line of Antoninus' Wall. Kinneil House, 1¼ mile WSW of Borrowstounness, had undergone large repairs by the Regent Arran not many years before it was plundered and burned by Queen Mary's opponents in 1568-70. In the reign of Charles II. it was altered and highly embellished by Duchess Anne and Duke William, then passing from the character of a feudal keep to that of three sides of a quadrangle, surmounted by cornice and balusters. Crowning the edge of a bank that rises 60 feet above sea-level, and commanding from its flat lead-covered roof an extensive and beautiful view, it is approached by a fine avenue of old trees, and surrounded with a considerable quantity of natural wood. It once had such rich internal decorations as to be described by Sibbald as a ` princely seat; ' but, having lost favour with its noble proprietors as a desirable residence, it last was tenanted from 1809 till shortly before his death in 1828 by Dugald Stewart, who here wrote most of his celebrated works. Prior to this, about 1764, Kinneil had been the place where James Watt matured some of his improvements on the steam-engine. (See also Gil Burn.) The ancient parish, quite or nearly identical with the barony had Borrowstounness disjoined from it in 1649, and itself was united therewith in 1669.—Ord. Sur., sh. 31, 1867.

Kinneil through time

Kinneil is now part of Falkirk district. Click here for graphs and data of how Falkirk has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Kinneil itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Kinneil, in Falkirk and West Lothian | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 13th June 2024

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