The roots of our church go back to the 12th century when reference was first made to Kinneil church (the ruins of which can still be found in Kinneil Estate at the West of Bo’ness). Kinneil Church is believed to have been built by Herbutus, Chamberlain to King Malcolm IV to service the substantial village located to the south of the Kinneil Estate.
The minister of Kinneil also served the Church of Borrowstounness which was first proposed in 1634 and was built in the Corbiehall area of the town between 1636 and 1638. Built in response to the rapid growth of Bo’ness into a major seaport, the town’s sailors and visitors contributed greatly to the construction and the importance of their role is memoralised by the seaman’s gallery in our current home.
In 1669, the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton obtained an act of Parliament declaring the new church to be the “Kirk of the Barony of Kinneil and Borrowstounness”, which became known as the Parish of Bo’ness. With the congregation moving to Corbiehall, as Kinneil Village had been surpassed by the rapid growth of Bo’ness, Kinneil Church continued to be used by Duke of Hamilton’s family as a private church until until it was accidentally destroyed by fire in 1745 by a troop of Dragoons stationed at Kinneil House. Artifacts from our original home (including one of the church bells) can be found in the nearby Kinneil Museum.
The church in Corbiehall was partly rebuilt in 1776 and served the needs of the Parish until 1888 when the Old Kirk was built. The Corbiehall building was laterly redeveloped into the Star Cinema and, while traces of the buildings original use can no longer be found, the church cemetary can still be found at the rear. While no picures of its church use remain, several artifacts were transferred to the Old Kirk including our magnificent pulpit.
With the population of Bo’ness continuing to increase, the foundation stone of our current home was laid on 6th November 1886 by James Auldjo Jamieson, Esq. WS (a commissioner to the Duke of Hamilton) with construction completed in 1888 under the tenure of the Rev H R Fullarton. Funded by the community and the Duke of Hamilton, the Old Kirk was consecrated with a capacity of over 1000 and remains the parish church for Bo’ness. More information on current home can be found here.