Metal sign outside The People's Story Museum in Edinburgh
Credit: Edinburgh Museums

People’s Story Museum

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People’s Story Museum, 163 Canongate, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH8 8BN

The People’s Story explores the lives of ordinary people throughout Edinburgh’s history. The museum brings the past to life through a series of life-size sets and costumed figures, depicting working and social scenes from the 18th century to the present day. Memories from real people are used throughout the museum.

Scenes from Edinburgh’s History

The museum is in the Canongate Tolbooth, a historic building dating back to 1591. Back then it was the Canongate Courthouse and Prison. Part of the original prison still remains today, as a jail scene in the museum. There are many scenes in the museum, such as a bookbinder’s workshop, wartime kitchen, wash house, pub and tea room. Characters encountered along the way include a prisoner, town crier, servant, dressmaker and housewife. Visitors learn of their stories through the reconstructed scenes, real objects from the past, information and displays.

The People’s Story is located opposite the Museum of Edinburgh on the Canongate area of the Royal Mile. The two museums share a gift shop, which is inside the Museum of Edinburgh. Although there is no cafe on site, there are many restaurants and cafes located close by on the Royal Mile.

Visit The People’s Story

See the Edinburgh Museums website for more information.