From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Scottish Gaelic: Baile nam Feusgan
Rennie Bridge over the River Esk
Musselburgh is located in East Lothian
 Musselburgh shown within East Lothian
Population 21,900 
OS grid reference NT3472
Civil parish Inveresk
Council area East Lothian
Lieutenancy area East Lothian
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district EH21
Dialling code 0131
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament East Lothian
Scottish Parliament Midlothian North and Musselburgh
List of places

Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.

Musselburgh (Gaelic: Baile nam Feusgan)[1] is the largest settlement in East Lothian, Scotland, on the coast of the Firth of Forth, 6 miles (10 km) east of Edinburgh city centre. The population of Musselburgh is 21,900.[2]


The name Musselburgh is Old English in origin, with "mussel" referring to the shellfish,[3] and "burgh" derived from the Old English for "town".[4]

Musselburgh was first settled by the Romans in the years following their invasion of Scotland in AD 80. They built a fort a little inland from the mouth of the River Esk, at Inveresk.

They bridged the Esk downstream from the fort, and thus established the line of the main eastern approach to Scotland's capital for most of the next 2000 years. 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.

In about 1315 Musselburgh was made a burgh of barony, earlier than Edinburgh, which became a burgh in 1329; and there is a popular local song (in Scots) commemorating this:


File:Musselburgh Tolbooth.jpg
Tolbooth in the High Street
Welcome to the Honest Toun

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

The town and its population grew considerably throughout the latter half of the 20th century, with major local authority and private housing developments on both the eastern and western outskirts. Before 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.


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 1608. Some students attend St. David's R.C. High School in nearby Dalkeith. 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). Early learning locations (ages 3-5) include The Burgh, Stoneyhill, Loretto RC, and St. Ninian's. There are also several private nurseries for pre-Primary School aged children.

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



Musselburgh is served by two railway stations. Musselburgh railway station is in the west of the town, adjacent to Queen Margaret University and has regular Abellio ScotRail services from Edinburgh Waverley 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. The town's original station was 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 closed to all traffic in the early 1970s. It is now a road bypassing the Fisherrow area of the town.


The town is served by Lothian Buses, First Scotland East and Eve Coaches.[citation needed]

  • Lothian Buses

15 Penicuik (Deanburn) - Bush - Hillend - Morningside - Tollcross - Princess Street - Meadowbank - Portobello - Eastfield - Musselburgh - Wallyford P&R - Prestonpans

26 Clerwood - Edinburgh Zoo - Haymarket - Princess Street - Portobello - Eastfield - Musselburgh - Prestonpans - Tranent or Seton Sands

30 Clovenstone - Wester hailes - Longstone - Balgreen - Princess Street - Prestonfield - Niddrie - Fort Kinnaird - Queen Margaret Uni - Musselburgh

40 Portobello - Musselburgh - Whitecraig - Dalkeith - Bonnyrigg - Loanhead - Roslin - Auchindinny - Penicuik Town Centre

44 Balerno - Currie - Slateford - Haymarket - Princess Street - Meadowbank - Willowbrae - Brunstane - Eastfield - Musselburgh - Wallyford

45 Riccarton - Currie - Colinton - Firhill - Craiglockheart - Bruntsfield - Tollcross - North Bridge - Meadowbank - Portobello - Eastfield - QMU

113 Western General Hospital - Princess Street - Meadowbank - Brunstane - Eastfield - Musselburgh - Wallyford P&R - Tranent - Ormiston - Pencaitland

N26 Clerwood - Haymarket - Princess Street - Portobello - Eastfield - Musselburgh - Prestonpans - Seton Sands

N30 Westside Plaza - Baberton - Balgreen - Princess Street - Prestonfield - Niddrie - Fort Kinnaird - Queen Margaret Uni - Musselburgh

N44 Balerno - Currie - Slateford - Haymarket - Princess Street - Meadowbank - Willowbrae - Brunstane - Eastfield - Musselburgh - Wallyford - Tranent


The A1 by-passes the town and meets the A720 Edinburgh City Bypass at the edge of the town before continuing to 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 until the town's bypass was built in the mid-1980s.


The Musselburgh Silver Arrow is reputed to be the oldest sporting trophy in United Kingdom,[6] and is competed for annually by the Royal Company of Archers. It dates back to at least 1603.[7]

Musselburgh is home to both Musselburgh Racecourse and Musselburgh Links golf course. The links, a former venue of golf's Open Championship, have recently been acknowledged as the oldest continuously played golf course in the world.[8] 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 RBS Championship B League at Stoneyhill. Musselburgh is also home to Musselburgh Windsor Football Club (Home Field, Pinkie Playing Fields) and Musselburgh Youngstars FC (Home Field, Wallyford public park), which both cater for boys and girls from the age of 6 (age 5 for Musselburgh Youngstars) through to adulthood.

There is also a locally run darts league, the Musselburgh and District Darts League, comprising an A and B league, each containing eight teams. Many players from this league represent the Lothian team at county level.

The East Lothian Seagulls of the Scottish Floorball League are based in Musselburgh and train and play matches at the sports centre at Queen Margaret University.

Notable people

See Category:People from Musselburgh


Fisherrow, Inveresk, Levenhall Links, Pinkie, Stoneyhill/Clayknowes/Denholm, Stoneybank, Queen Margaret University Student Village, Monktonhall, Wallyford, Whitecraig, Wimpey Estate

Twin towns

Musselburgh is twinned with Champigny-sur-Marne (France) and Rosignano Marittimo (Italy).[citation needed]

See also


  1. "Musseburgh". National Place-Names Gazetteer. Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba. Retrieved 22 October 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Population: 21,900 - Musselburgh - East Lothian Council". 2008-11-20. Retrieved 2015-03-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 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.
  4. [1] Archived May 17, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Ayton, John and Crofton, Ian (2005). Brewer's Britain & Ireland. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. p. 787.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Hugo Arnot, The history of Edinburgh, from the earliest accounts, to the year 1780, Edinburgh, 1816
  7. [2] Archived October 6, 2006 at the Wayback Machine

External links