Musselburgh: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about Musselburgh in Scotland. For Musselburgh in New Zealand, see Musselburgh, New Zealand

Coordinates: 55°56′36″N 3°02′58″W / 55.94326°N 3.049555°W / 55.94326; -3.049555

Musselburgh is located in Scotland

 Musselburgh shown within Scotland
Population 22,212 (2008 census)
Council area East Lothian
Lieutenancy area East Lothian
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district EH21
Dialling code 0131
Police Lothian and Borders
Fire Lothian and Borders
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament East Lothian
Scottish Parliament Edinburgh East and Musselburgh
List of places: UK • Scotland •
Welcome to the Honest Toun
Showing the Brunton Hall, from the west of the town

Musselburgh is the largest settlement in East Lothian, Scotland, on the coast of the Firth of Forth, six miles east of Edinburgh city centre.



It was first settled by the Romans in the years following their invasion of Scotland in AD80. They built a fort a little inland from the mouth of the River Esk and bridged the river here. In doing so they established the line of the main eastern approach to Scotland's capital for most of the next two thousand years. Musselburgh is the oldest town in Scotland and has the oldest golf course in the world.

The name Musselburgh is Old English in origin with mussel referring to the shellfish [1], and burgh derived from the Old English for 'town'. [2]

Rennie Bridge, River Esk

The bridge built by the Romans outlasted them by many centuries. It was rebuilt on the original Roman foundations some time before 1300, and in 1597 it was rebuilt again, this time with a third arch added on the east side of the river. The Old Bridge is also known as the Roman Bridge and remains in use today by pedestrians. To its north is the New Bridge, designed by John Rennie the Elder and built in 1806. This in turn was considerably widened in 1925.

The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh was fought south of Musselburgh.

The town motto "Honesty" dates back to 1332, when the Regent of Scotland, Randolph, Earl of Moray, died in the burgh after a long illness during which he was devotedly cared for by its citizens. His successor offered to reward the people for their loyalty but they declined, saying they were only doing their duty. The new regent, the Earl of Mar, was impressed and said they were a set of honest men, hence "Honest Toun".

According to his autobiography, Sir Harry Lauder's parents lived at Musselburgh after he was born, where Harry's brothers Matthew, John, and Alexander, and a sister, Isabella, were all born. They moved to Derbyshire sometime after April 1881.

The Musselburgh Silver Arrow is reputed to be the oldest sporting trophy in United Kingdom [3], and is competed for annually by the Royal Company of Archers. It dates back to at least 1603 [1], and perhaps even to 1603 [2].


Schools include Loretto School, a private boarding school, and Musselburgh Grammar School, the local large comprehensive that is one of the oldest Grammar schools in the country, dating from the 17th century. Primary Schools include; Campie Primary School, Musselburgh Burgh Primary School, Stoneyhill Primary School, Pinkie St Peter's Primary School, Loretto RC Primary School and Loretto Nippers (Private).

Edinburgh's Queen Margaret University relocated all its schools from Edinburgh to Musselburgh as of 2007. The Queen officially opened the QMU campus in July 2008.

Musselburgh is known as "The Honest Toun", and celebrates this by the annual election of the Honest Lad and Lass.

Prior to 1975, Musselburgh was in Midlothian, not East Lothian. It became part of the East Lothian District following the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 and subsequently East Lothian unitary council area in 1996. There is an anecdote that this caused disappointment within the rest of the county, as, prior to that point, East Lothian had no traffic lights.


Musselburgh is served by two railway stations Musselburgh railway station in the west of the town situated adjacent to Queen Margaret University which is served by regular First ScotRail services from Edinburgh to North Berwick. It is a relatively new station, opened in 1988. The other station serving the town is Wallyford railway station to the east of the town in the village of Wallyford , opened in 1994, serves the eastern end of the town. The town's original station was situated close to the town centre at the end of a short branch from Newhailes Junction. Passenger services from there ceased in 1964 and the line ultimately closed to all traffic in the early 1970s. It is now a road bypassing the Fisherrow area of the town.


The A1 road (Great Britain) goes round the town and joins up with the A720 Edinburgh City Bypass at the edge of the town before heading into Edinburgh city centre. The A199 goes through the High Street to Edinburgh in the west and to Dunbar to the east. This was originally the A1 road (Great Britain) until the town's bypass was built in the mid-eighties.


Musselburgh is home to both Musselburgh Racecourse and Musselburgh Links golf course. The links which are a former venue of golf's Open Championship have recently been acknowledged as the oldest continuously played golf course in the world. [4] Musselburgh Athletic F.C. are the town's junior football team playing in the Scottish Junior Football at Olivebank Park to the west of the town. Musselburgh RFC play in the BT Scottish Premiership 3 at Stoneyhill.

Notable people

See Category:People from Musselburgh

  • Angus (Gus) Mckenzie. GB and Scottish Athlete and Olympic 4 man Bobsleigher - Sarajevo 1984








Queen Margeret University Student Village




Twin towns


  1. ^ Musselburgh was famous for the mussel beds which grew in the Firth of Forth; after many years of claims that the mussels were unsafe for consumption a movement has been started to re-establish the mussel beds as a commercial venture.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Hugo Arnot, The history of Edinburgh, from the earliest accounts, to the year 1780, Edinburgh, 1816

See also

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Musselburgh [1] is a town in East Lothian, Scotland, around 6 miles east of the country's capital city, Edinburgh. The town lays claim to being the oldest in Scotland, and has certainly been inhabited for many thousands of years, due to its strategic location where the River Esk flows into the Firth of Forth.

Get in

By Bus

Lothian Buses [2] services 15, 26 and 44 serve Musselburgh from Edinburgh.

By Rail

Musselburgh is served by First Scotrail [3] services to and from Edinburgh Waverley and North Berwick.

By Car

Musselburgh is just off the main A1 Edinburgh to London road.

Newhailes House
Newhailes House
  • Newhailes House, (Well-signposted from the west end of Musselburgh.), [4]. May-Sep, Thu-Mon, 12-5. National Trust for Scotland owned mansion house, virtually unchanged since the 18th century. Tranquil wooded grounds nice for walking.  edit
  • The Lagoon, (Behind the racecourse). Popular spot for ornithologists, due to the number of migratory birds that use it for a stopover. Lots of birds live here year round too.  edit
  • Musselburgh Racecourse, Linkfield Road, Musselburgh, 0131 665 2859 (fax: 0131 653 2083), [5]. Musselburgh Links has hosted horse racing since 1816, when the development of the docks at Leith put a stop to race meetings on the sands there. After significant investment in facilities over the last decade or so, the course has now been rated a 5-star attraction by Visit Scotland. Hosts races around once a fortnight throughout the year, both flat and National Hunt.  edit
  • Musselburgh Old Links, Musselburgh Links, The Old Golf Course, Balcarres Road, Musselburgh, 0131 665 5438, [6]. Located in the middle of the race course, this 9 hole links course claims to the oldest continuously played golf course in the World.  edit
  • Luca's, 32 High Street, Musselburgh, 0131 665 2237, [7]. Mon - Sat 9.00am - 10.00pm. Sun 10.30am - 10.00pm. No trip to Musselburgh is complete without a visit to Luca's - as the queues of folk from Edinburgh and further afield every weekend (not just in summer) will attest. Simply delicious ice cream and old-fashioned desserts.  edit
  • Restaurant 102, 102 New Street, Musselburgh, 01356 653535, [8]. Family run restaurant that has revitalised the dining scene in the town.  edit
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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