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Musselburgh
RiverEskRomanBridge.jpg
Rennie Bridge over the River Esk
Musselburgh shown within East Lothian
Population 21,900 
OS grid reference NT3472
Civil parish
  • Inveresk
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town MUSSELBURGH
Postcode district EH21
Dialling code 0131
Police Lothian and Borders
Fire Lothian and Borders
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament
  • East Lothian
Scottish Parliament
  • Midlothian North and Musselburgh
List of places
UK
Scotland
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Musselburgh (Gaelic: Baile nam Feusgan) 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.

History

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

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 2,000 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.

Around approximately 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:

Musselburgh was a burgh
When Edinburgh was nane,
And Musselburgh will be a burgh
When Edinburgh's gane.
Musselburgh Tolbooth
Tolbooth in the High Street
Musselburgh
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 the townsfolk. 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 twentieth century, with major local authority and private housing developments on both the eastern and western outskirts. Before 1975, Musselburgh was part of 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.

Transport

Railway

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, having opened in 1988. The other station serving the town is Wallyford railway station to the east of the town in the village of Wallyford, which 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. The former railway line is now a road bypassing the Fisherrow area of the town.

Bus

The town is served by Lothian Buses, East Coast Buses, Lothian Country Buses and Prentice,

  • Bus Services

X15 Penicuik (Deanburn) - Bush - Hillend - Morningside - Tollcross - Princes Street - Meadowbank House - Portobello Town Hall - Musselburgh - Prestonpans

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

X26 Port Seton - Prestonpans - Musselburgh - Portobello (Town Hall) - King's Road - Meadowbank House - Abbeyhill - Princes Street - Murrayfield - Broomhouse - Gyle

30 Clovenstone - Wester Hailes - Longstone - Balgreen - Princes Street - Prestonfield - Niddrie - Fort Kinnaird - Queen Margaret Uni - Musselburgh

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

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

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

108 Fort Kinnaird - Newcraighall - Musselburgh - Levenhall - Wallyford Station - Tranent - Macmerry - Gladsmuir - Haddington

111 Royal Infirmary - Millerhill - QMU - Musselburgh - Whitecraig - Wallyford - Prestonpans - Seton Sands - Longniddry - Aberlady - Gullane - Drem - Haddington

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

124 Semple Street - Princes Street - Meadowbank - Portobello - Eastfield - Musselburgh - Wallyford P&R - Prestonpans - Longniddry - Aberlady - Gullane - Dirleton - North Berwick Tesco

X24 Semple Street - Princes Street - Meadowbank House - Portobello Town Hall - Joppa (Morton Street) - Musselburgh - Wallyford P&R - Prestonpans - Longniddry - Aberlady - Gullane - Dirleton - North Berwick Tesco

125 Musselburgh - Wallyford P&R - Prestonpans - Longniddry - Aberlady - Gullane - Dirleton - North Berwick High School

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

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

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

N106 Frederick Street - Leith Street - Meadowbank - Willowbrae - Brunstane - Musselburgh - Tranent - Macmerry - Haddington - East Linton - Dunbar (Spotts Road)

N124 Frederick Street - Leith Street - Meadowbank - Portobello - Eastfield - Musselburgh - Prestonpans - Longniddry - Aberlady - Gullane - Dirleton - North Berwick (Lochbridge Road)

Roads

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.

Areas

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).


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