Musselburgh  Midlothian


In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Musselburgh like this:

Musselburgh, parl. burgh and town, Inveresk par., Edinburghshire, at mouth of river Esk, 6 miles E. of Edinburgh by rail - parl. burgh, pop. 7866; town (consisting of Fisherrow portion W. of river Esk, pop. 4370; Musselburgh portion E. of river Esk, pop. 3266; and West-pans portion, pop. 244), pop. ...

7870; P.O., T.O., 3 Banks. Musselburgh is said to derive its name from a mussel bank near the mouth of the Esk, having been previously called Eskmouth; it was partly destroyed by the English in 1544, and again in 1548; and it was the headquarters of Cromwell's army for nearly two months in 1650. The old Tolbooth, built in 1590, of materials from the ruins of the chapel of Loretto, is an interesting building; it is not now used as a prison. The Links of Musselburgh, on the E. side of the town by the shore, have long been noted as a golfing ground; they are also used as a racecourse and an archery ground. There are extensive market gardens in the vicinity. The mfr. of nets and twine is an important industry; brewing and tanning are carried on. The fishing industry of the burgh is confined to that portion of it called Fisherrow, which is reached by a stone bridge of 5 arches across the river Esk. Musselburgh is one of the Leith District of Parliamentary Burghs, which returns 1 member. See also INVERESK.

Musselburgh through time

Musselburgh is now part of East Lothian district. Click here for graphs and data of how East Lothian has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Musselburgh itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Musselburgh, in East Lothian and Midlothian | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 17th June 2024

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