Exterior of yellow and red Museum of Edinburgh
Credit: Edinburgh Museums

Museum of Edinburgh

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Museum of Edinburgh, 142 Canongate, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH8 8DD

Visit the Museum of Edinburgh to learn all about the city’s fascinating origins. Located in the Canongate area of the Royal Mile, the museum building itself has an interesting history. It is actually a row of properties, dating from the 16th to the 18th century. They were originally home to a great variety of residents. From the Dowager Duchess of Gordon in Huntly House (now the main entrance to the museum) to ordinary townsfolk such as Merchants and Washerwomen. The small group of houses were continually sub-divided over time. They became so overcrowded that by 1851, over 300 tenants lived there. Eventually, the council bought the slums and turned them into a new City Museum in 1932. The museum has gone through many changes over the years, but Edinburgh City Council still operate it today.

From Edinburgh’s Beginnings to the Present Day

The museum has huge collection of artefacts, such as an original copy of the National Covenant signed in 1638, James Craig’s plans for Edinburgh’s New Town drawn up in 1767. And the collar and bowl of Greyfriars Bobby, Edinburgh’s most famous dog whose memorial statue was erected on George IV Bridge in 1873.

The museum also displays some beautiful examples of Scottish craftsmanship, including expertly crafted glass and silver, decorative pottery and porcelain, and fine longcase clocks made in Edinburgh.

Activities and Events

The Family Activity Area gives children the chance to take part in art activities, handle replica museum objects, dress up in historical costumes or relax in the library corner. Activity sheets are available to keep them interested as they move throughout the galleries.

In addition to the permanent collections, a programme of exhibitions, events and workshops run throughout the year.

Visit the Museum of Edinburgh

Admission to the Museum of Edinburgh is free. See the Edinburgh Museums website for more information.