Our collection reflects the varied history of Dalkeith and how the town has changed over the centuries. Its recorded history dates from 1142, but the town, strategically positioned between two rivers, is believed to be much older.
A whinstone head, believed to be Roman, is our oldest artefact and others are reminders of Dalkeith’s interesting past – through two world wars, as a hub to the railways who serviced the coal industry and as a vibrant market town, home to the largest Corn Exchange in Scotland.
There’s much more to Dalkeith than meets the eye! Come and find out about its social, industrial, historical and cultural past.
“Albert” Lieutenant of the 8th Battalion Royal Scots (Territorial Force) 1908 – 1919
Wearing the ceremonial uniform, comprising a Kilmarnock bonnet with black cock feather and regimental badge, scarlet tunic and Hunting Stewart tartan trews, black brogues a ceremonial basket-hilt broadsword. The medals date from the Boer War.
The Battalion was mobilised at Haddington in 1914 and many recruits came from Midlothian.
The Station Bell 1837
Dalkeith Station opened in 1838. Its construction was financed by the Duke of Buccleuch.
The bell, which was used to signal the arrival and return of passenger trains, was removed in the 1940s and was first displayed in the British Railway Museum in Waterloo Place, Edinburgh then in the Glasgow Transport Museum, before being returned to its proper home – here in Dalkeith Museum – in 2017.
Enjoyed by the youth of Dalkeith in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Woolley’s famously made and bottled a selection of carbonated drinks and ginger beer which were supplied to local shops and off licenses in and around Dalkeith. The cash deposit was refunded on the safe return of the glass bottles.
Hand-made model bus 1910
This model bus was made by Mr Dan Sinclair of Dalkeith who was awarded a gold medal at the Edinburgh and Midlothian Exhibition on Hobbies held on 3rd December 1910.
Early Wheelchair circa 1918
This wheelchair probably dates from post-World War 1 when they became common and vital for war-related, wounded men and women who had suffered crippling lower limb damage.
The chair, which had been in regular use at Danderhall Surgery since the 1960s, was donated to the Museum in 1994.
Town Clerk’s Wig circa 1850
Made of grey horse hair, this wig would be worn regularly by the Town Clerk. It comes complete with its own stand and black tin storage box.
It was made by Ravenscroft, Law Wig and Robe Makers, Lincolns Inn Fields, London.