Museum of Edinburgh
The Museum of Edinburgh is the City’s treasure box - a maze of historic rooms crammed full of iconic objects from the Capital’s past.
Find out about the history of Edinburgh from the earliest times to the present day. Discover more about the city, its people, crafts and trades and the beautiful objects they created.
In August Sun 12.00-17.00
Closed: Sundays September to July
Please check before visiting.
If you know the story of 'Greyfriars Bobby ', you will be thrilled to see his collar and feeding bowl, and the original plaster model for the bronze statue in Candlemaker Row.
One of the museum's great treasures is the National Covenant, signed by Scotland's presbyterian leadership in 1638, while the collections of Scottish pottery and items relating to Field Marshal Earl Haig are of national importance. The museum also features Edinburgh silver and glass, and a colourful collection of shop signs. The home of The Museum of Edinburgh is picturesque Huntly House, which faces on to the Canongate and dates from the 16th century. It was extended in the 17th and 18th centuries, and has been home to a wide variety of owners and tenants, ranging from aristocrats to merchants and working people. Robert Chambers, a Victorian antiquarian, called Huntly House the ' speaking house' because of the Latin inscriptions on its facade. It is appropriate that the 'speaking house' now accomodates The Museum of Edinburgh. The Museum of Edinburgh regularly mounts temporary exhibitions drawn from the local history and decorative art collections.
Archaeology, Archives, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Music, Personalities, Social History, Weapons and War
Key artists and exhibits
- Greyfriars Bobby
- Field Marshal Earl Haig
- National Covenant 1683
- Scottish pottery
- Edinburgh silver and glass
- Shop signs
Scars on the City: Edinburgh in World War I
- 5 February — 27 June 2015 *on now
What was it like to be in Edinburgh while World War I was raging? What were the dangers and excitements, the hardships and the joys? Scars on the City brings wartime Edinburgh to life, exploring the Zeppelin raids that destroyed people and buildings, the recruitment drives that thronged the streets, the life of women war workers in the City and the experiences of Edinburgh’s children.
Packed with fascinating photographs and objects from shrapnel and bullet casings to knitted comforts and military board games, Scars on the City shows the thrill and horror of a War that reached beyond the front line to our own doorstep.
One hundred years of Planning Edinburgh
- 21 March — 20 June 2015 *on now
The story is told through a series of panels, each of which covers a decade of the last century of the city’s evolution and exploring key themes of Housing, Transport, Planning and Conservation.
A timeline runs through the entire exhibition so the changes to the city can be understood in context with other events going on in the city and the wider world.
'A Clearer Light' - Lord Hailes and the Scottish Enlightenment
- 28 June — 22 September 2015
He was born to an important Scottish family as Scotland was emerging as one of the most influential nations in Europe. But like his native land, Lord Hailes was not to become influential by great political power or enormous wealth, but rather through the power of ideas.
His was a time when Scotland – and in particular Edinburgh – was reshaping the world with new ideas in law, history, literature, philosophy, economics, medicine and science. If Lord Hailes’ Edinburgh was ‘the capital of the mind’ he was one of its intellectual senators, and his house at Newhailes ‘a mansion of the mind.’
Treasures found: archaeology from the East of Scotland
- 6 July — 13 September 2015
From a Bronze Age spear head to roman coins and a medieval pilgrim badge, a selection of fascinating recent archaeological finds from the East of Scotland shed light on the archaeological history of the area.
Roman and Dark Age Cramond
- 1 October 2015 — 30 April 2016
A celebration of 60 years of archaeological research at Cramond.
Dates to be confirmed:
Monday to Saturday 10am - 5pm
Who is this for? - All
Dates: 1 October 2015 - 30 April 2016
The Roman occupation and Dark Age bodies from the Bathhouse will be explored, and the forensic science behind archaeological investigation such as Isotopic, DNA, forensic analysis and reconstructions will be explained.
Dates to be confirmed.
Museum of Edinburgh
0131 529 4143
0131 557 3346