Bo’ness is a small town on the southern shore of the River Forth, about 18 miles west of Edinburgh. While Bo’ness is primarily a commuter town, making use of its central location and good transport links, it retains a strong community heart and welcoming spirit. Yes we’re biased, but its a great place to live!
But why is it called Bo’ness? Well Borrowstounness (our proper name) is a bit of a mouthful!
Bo’ness was first settled by the Romans with the Antonine Wall ending at the eastern edge of the town – the ‘Bridgeness Slab’ a commemorative marker stone can be found in the National Museum of Scotland with a replica in Kinacres Park which is worth a visit. Remains of the wall can also be found in the woods of Kinneil House which is an impressive 15th century mansion containing some rare renaissance wall paintings. Nearby Kinneil Museum is a great place to find out more about the history and people of Bo’ness and where you can discover the home of James Watt which was the location of some of his early steam engine experiments.
From the early 18th century, Bo’ness was one of Scotland’s major ports and a centre of heavy industry including mining and shipbuilding. While these industries have now gone, their legacy lives on through our proud brass band history, community events and the many beautiful buildings located throughout the town. Major attractions in the wider area include the impressive Kelpies, The Falkirk Wheel, The Forth Bridges, Linlithgow Palace and Calendar House.
While it may be a small town, Bo’ness has many heritage and community events particularly the Children’s Fair Festival and the Old Kirk plays an important role in the life of our town. Bo’ness and Kinneil Steam railway is a popular attraction in the town (hosting their ever popular ‘Thomas and Friends ‘days) and the Bo’ness Hill Climb Revival sees large crowds visit nearby Kinneil House in early September for vintage car racing. The town has also seen an increase in visitors since the reopening of The Hippodrome, Scotland’s first purpose built cinema and an art deco masterpiece.
Our town has several nurseries, 5 Primary Schools and a Secondary School. The Old Kirk provides chaplaincy for Kinneil and Deanburn Primary Schools and we host many local events including concerts and the town’s annual remembrance service.
Christian life is also well represented in Bo’ness with 2 other Church of Scotland congregations and other denominations whom we have strong links with. Bo’ness Churches Together holds special worship services and events throughout the year including the main Holy Week celebrations where joint services are held in the various churches in the town including the Old Kirk.
So, there’s more going on in Bo’ness than you might think! Check out the following sites for more information on our town: