Museum of Fire

The Museum of Fire tells the history of the oldest municipal fire brigade in the United Kingdom, formed in 1824. Housed in the historic Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters building at Lauriston, it shows the development of firefighting in an exciting and educational way.

On display is a range of engines including manual, horse drawn, steam and motorised pumps dating from 1806, along with many other fire related items from as far back as 1426.

The oldest items on display are the ‘cleikes of iron’, used to pull burning thatch from the roof of Edinburgh Castle in the 1400’s. The Halley Fire Engine, purchased by Leith Fire Brigade in 1910, is the oldest motor engine on display. It was manufactured in Glasgow.

As a rule, early firefighters grew beards to act as a form of smoke filter - they rolled their beards up into their mouths, earning them the name ‘smoke-eaters’.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

By appt only

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Costume and Textiles, Personalities, Social History, Land Transport

Museum of Fire
Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade
Brigade Headquarters
Lauriston Place



0131 228 2401


0131 228 6662

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