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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 56°01′01″N 3°36′32″W / 56.01681°N 3.60891°W / 56.01681; -3.60891

Bo'ness (Borrowstounness)
Scottish Gaelic: Ceann Fhail
Scots: Bo'ness (Burghstounness)
Bo'ness (Borrowstounness) is located in Scotland
Bo'ness (Borrowstounness)

 Bo'ness (Borrowstounness) shown within Scotland
Population 13,961 [1] (2001 census)
est. 14,340[2] (2006)
OS grid reference NS998816
Council area Falkirk
Lieutenancy area West Lothian
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BO'NESS
Postcode district EH51
Dialling code 01506
Police Central Scotland
Fire Central Scotland
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Linlithgow and East Falkirk
Scottish Parliament Falkirk East
Central Scotland
List of places: UK • Scotland •

Bo'ness, properly Borrowstounness, is a village in the Falkirk (council area) of Scotland, lying on a hillside on the south bank of the Firth of Forth. Prior to 1975 the town was in the former county of West Lothian. Formerly a centre of heavy industry and coal mining, and a major port, the town is now primarily a commuter town.[3]



Bo'ness Town Hall

Bo'ness has important historical links to the Roman period and marks the eastern extent of the Antonine Wall [4] which stretched from Bo'ness to Old Kilpatrick on the west coast of Scotland. Roman artefacts, some with inscriptions have been found in the eastern part of the town in the parish of Carriden. A Roman fort called Veluniate and long since lost to history once stood on the site now occupied by the grounds of Carriden House. Indeed, it is said that stones from the fort were used in the building of the mansion house. Several artefacts have over the years been uncovered by the local farming community with many of them now on display in the Museum of Edinburgh. Other Roman sites have been identified at Muirhouses (known locally as "The Murrays") and Kinglass on the south-east side of the town. Kinneil, in the western part of Bo'ness, was mentioned by Bede, who wrote that it was named Pennfahel ("Wall's end") in Pictish and Penneltun in Old English . It was also Pengwawl in old Welsh. In the grounds of Kinneil House is the ruin of the small house where James Watt worked on his steam engine.[5] The Antonine Wall was named as an extension to the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site by UNESCO in July 2007. A Roman fortlet can still be seen at Kinneil Estate.[6]

The town was a recognised port from the 16th century; a harbour was authorised by an Act of Parliament in 1707. The harbour, constructed progressively during the 18th century, was extended and complemented by a dry dock in 1881 (works designed by civil engineers Thomas Meik and Patrick Meik)[7]. The commercial port (heavily used for the transport of coal and pit props) eventually closed in 1959, badly affected by silting and the gradual downturn of the Scottish coal mining industry. Plans currently exist for the regeneration of the docks area including reopening the port as a marina.[8]

Bo'ness drain cover

Bo'ness was a site for coal mining from medieval times. Clay mining was carried out on a smaller scale. The shore was the site of industrial salt making, evaporating seawater over coal fires. The ruins of several fisheries (fish storage houses) along the shoreline evidences long gone commercial fishing activitiy. The town was also home to several sizable potteries [9], one product being the black "wally dogs" which sat in pairs over many fireplaces. Metalworking is still carried out, and the Bo'ness Iron Company's drain covers are to be found in many places.[10]


A map of Borrowstounness from 1945

Bo'ness is now primarily a commuter town and a tip, with many of its residents travelling to work in Edinburgh, Glasgow or Falkirk. One of the main local sources of employment is the Ineos petrochemical facility-formerly BP-located in nearby Grangemouth.

Present-day attractions in the town include the Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway and the Birkhill Fireclay Mine. Kinneil House, built by the powerful Hamilton family in the 15th century, lies on the western edge of the town. In the grounds are a cottage where James Watt worked on his experimental steam engine and the steam cylinder of a Newcomen engine. The remains of an engine house are located in Kinningars Park, off Harbour Road.

Bo'ness has a single secondary school, Bo'ness Academy, and five primary schools: Deanburn, Kinneil, Bo'ness Public School, St Mary's, and the Grange School. There are a number of churches, including Bo'ness Old Kirk, Carriden, St Andrew's Parish Church, Craigmailen UFC, St. Catharine's Episcopal Church, Bo'ness Apostolic Church, Bo'ness Baptist Church, The Bo'ness Salvation Army and St. Mary's RC, a modernist design of 1962 by Gillespie, Kidd & Coia.


Bo'ness is home to the junior football club Bo'ness United, and also to Bo'ness United Ladies and Bo'ness United Under 16s. Bo'ness Academy has a rugby team. In the 2008/2009 season they will be in partnership with Grangemouth rugby club, so they are eligible for competitions and cups.

See also


External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Bo'ness is a small town in Scotland. The full name of the town is Borrowstounness but the abbreviated form is almost always used. Previously a traditional mining town, Bo'ness is a commuter town for those working in nearby Edinburgh and further afield. Bo'ness is home to the Scottish Railway Preservation Society and the Bo'ness and Kinneil Steam Railway.

Get in

The train station and line in Bo'ness is connected to the national network, however, the line is mostly used for day trips from Bo'ness to the Birkhill Clay Mine and back. There is no regular passenger service.

The railway is run by The Scottish Railway Preservation Society[1]. Phone: 01506 822298

Bo'ness is fifteen miles from Edinburgh, the main route being the M9 motorway. The exit is junction 3.

Get around

The historic town centre can easily be explored by foot. The are also frequent bus services around the town - linking up to neighbouring towns such as Linlithgow (rail station) and Falkirk.

  • The Scottish Railway exhibition and the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway [2]
  • The Hippodrome, [3] Scotland's first purpose built cinema, restored and re-opened, showing a range of movies for all tastes.
  • Kinneil Estate - [4] - featuring a historic house, a free museum, a Roman fortlet and woodland walks
  • Bo'ness Motor Museum, featuring cars used in the James Bond films
  • Take a ride on the steam train along the shore of the Firth of Forth with views of Fife
  • Walk in the footsteps of Romans at Kinneil Estate, visiting the fortlet and free museum
  • Buy fish and chips at Corvi's in Seaview Place, one of the best chip shops in Scotland (previously in Scotland the Best)
  • Take in the sea air with a walk along the foreshore or around the harbour
  • Look at the old photographs of the town in the historic library, off Scotland's Close
  • Marvel at some of the fantastic old buildings in the town centre - including Dymock's Buildings, officially opened by Prince Charles
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BO'NESS, or Borrowstounness, a municipal and police burgh and seaport of Linlithgowshire, Scotland. Pop. (1891) 6295; (1901) 93 06. It lies on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth, 17 m. W. by N. of Edinburgh, and 24 m. by rail, being the terminus of the North British railway's branch line from Manuel. In the 18th century it ranked next to Leith as a port, but the growth of Grangemouth, higher up the firth, seriously affected its shipping trade, which is, however, yet considerable, coal and pig-iron forming the principal exports, and pit props from the Baltic the leading import. It has an extensive harbour (the area of the dock being 7* acres). The great industries are coal-miningsome of the pits extending for a long distance beneath the firthiron-founding (with several blast furnaces) and engineering, but it has also important manufactures of salt, soap, vitriol and other chemicals. Shipbuilding and whaling are extinct. Traces of the wall of Antoninus which ran through the parish may still be made out, especially near Inveravon. Blackness, on the coast farther east, was the seaport of Linlithgow till the rise of Bo'ness, but its small export trade now mainly consists of coal, bricks, tiles and lime. Its castle, standing on a promontory, is of unknown age. James III. of Scotland is stated to have consigned certain of the insurgent nobles to its cells, and later it was used as a prison in which many of the Covenanters were immured. It was one of the four castles that had to be maintained by the Articles of Union, but when its uselessness for defensive purposes became apparent, it was converted into an ammunition depot. Kinneil House, 1 m. south of Bo'ness, a seat of the duke of Hamilton, formerly a keep, was fortified by the regent Arran, plundered by the rebels in Queen Mary's reign, and reconstructed in the time of Charles II. Dr John Roebuck (1718-1794), founder of the Carron Iron Works, occupied it for several years from 1764. It was here that, on his invitation, James Watt constructed a model of his steam-engine, which was tested in a now disused colliery. Though Roebuck lost all his money in the coal-mines and salt works which he established at Bo'ness, the development of the mineral resources of the district may be regarded as due to him.

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Simple English

Bo'ness (short for Borrowstouness) is a town in the Falkirk council area of Scotland, UK. Bo'ness is well-known for its iron.


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