Kinneil House was built on land given to the Duke of Hamilton after the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
The property fell into disrepair and was set to be demolished in the early 20th century until a series of decorative wall paintings were discovered in some of the rooms. These were considered to be of great enough historical importance to put a stop to the demolition.
The house is managed by The Friends of Kinneil and Historic Scotland and parts of the house are open to the public on a few days throughout the year. Because of the delicate paintings they operate a rule of no flash photography inside the building. This rule was on my visit applied over zealously as meaning no photography was allowed. However this did not apply to the grounds of the house.
The house was built during a period where the sovereignty of Scotland was being challenged. At the rear of the house are defensive gunloops from where the house could be protected.
In later years the house was occupied by industrialist John Roebuck who allowed James Watt to use the cottage behind the house while he was working on developing the steam engine, a part of which is displayed outside the remains of the cottage.
Nearby Kinneil Church has been unused since the 17th century and the only remaining parts of the ruin are the western gable wall and the graveyard.