Go Roman and enjoy free family events in Bo'ness

A festival dubbed “2000 years in the making” is back this weekend in Bo’ness, Falkirk and Bonnybridge, with all events free.
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Big Roman Week kicks off on Saturday, promising walks, talks, family events and heritage tours – to raise awareness of the Roman Antonine Wall and its surrounding landscape.

The Friends of Kinneil charity – co-ordinating this year’s Big Roman Week – has full information at www.kinneil.org. You can also find details in Falkirk Council libraries.

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Friends’ chairman Ian Shearer said: “Big Roman Week aims to highlight the fantastic heritage we have in this area, including the stunning Kinneil Estate, at the eastern end of the Roman Antonine Wall.

The Antonine Wall was built around 142AD on the orders of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius.The Antonine Wall was built around 142AD on the orders of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius.
The Antonine Wall was built around 142AD on the orders of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius.

"This year, we’ve worked closely with Falkirk Council, Historic Environment Scotland and other partners to compile the 2022 programme. We think there’s something for everyone.”

The programme – which runs to just over a week – kicks off with Doors Open Days this weekend, with Kinneil House and the Museum of Scottish Railways providing free public access.

Bo’ness Library will host children’s events to make Roman-style clay pots and recreate the Antonine Wall in LEGO.

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For older visitors, there will be a screening of a film about the famous Bridgeness Slab, as well as special talks from historians.

On Saturday, September 24, there are plans for a Big Roman family fun day in Kinneil. The Antonine Guard re-enactment group will set-up a Roman camp alongside stalls and displays.

A walk around Kinneil Estate (which boasts a Roman fortlet) will take place on September 20 and the festival will end on September 25 with a walk to the Carriden Roman fort site in Bo’ness.

Mr Shearer said: “The Antonine Wall became a World Heritage Site in 2008. But its stories are still unknown to many local people and visitors. Activities like Big Roman Week help people to discover local heritage sites, meet experts and find out more about local history.

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"And we try to have fun in the process. This year, all of our activities are free of charge, so please come along and support them.”

The Antonine Wall was built of turf and is sometimes hard to see. But free walks will give people the chance to visit Roman sites and step back in time.