Dalkeith is a town of around 10,000 inhabitants seven miles south of Edinburgh, Scotland. Our recorded history dates from 1142 – but the town, which is situated on a ridge between two rivers, is believed to be much older.
Iron Age remains have been found nearby, and an extensive Roman Camp was discovered about one mile from the present town centre. In the Middle Ages, Dalkeith saw many witch trials and witch burnings, and Dalkeith Castle (now Dalkeith Palace) was the seat of the Regent Morton who ruled Scotland on behalf of James VI. In 1650, Cromwell’s army occupied Dalkeith, and Cromwell’s Commander and Governor in Scotland, General Monk, made Dalkeith Palace his headquarters.
In more recent times, Dalkeith was the centre of a thriving agricultural and coal mining area, and in the 19th Century Dalkeith was the most important grain market in Scotland, and was a significant market town since the seventeenth century. Sadly, whilst we are still surrounded by farmlands, the coal mines all disappeared in the second half of the 20th Century. Dalkeith is now the administrative centre of the County of Midlothian.
Dalkeith History Society
Dalkeith History Society’s objectives are to encourage an interest in the history of Dalkeith, through talks, exhibitions etc., and to carry out research into Dalkeith’s past. The Society has a membership of around 150 people, and is run by a small Committee. The Committee members are all long-term Dalkeith residents with a wide knowledge of Dalkeith’s history. The Society is an unincorporated voluntary organisation, and does not currently have charitable status. Membership is charged at £5 per year, with donations also received from attendees at various talks and events.
Our new premises at the Corn Exchange
The premises will provide the following physical space:
- Exhibition space for permanent displays of objects and photographs accompanied by audio and video oral history interviews and interactive displays
- Temporary exhibition space for changing displays, new acquisitions and for community groups to use for their own projects or collections. This would be a space that other groups in the town could use to demonstrate their own place in the community or just to have fun with creating their own exhibition
- Multipurpose area for schools groups, object handling sessions, reminiscence sessions, family activity days, seminars, talks and hiring out to other small groups
- In addition, there will be a permanent display on the history of the Corn Exchange which will be open to all members of the public
Dalkeith Museum is now open to the public at the following times –
and the first Saturday of the month 10-4