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Linlithgow Story, The

(Annet House)

Spinning, Linlithgow Story
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

Spinning, Linlithgow Story

Located in Annet House on the High Street in Linlithgow (West Lothian), the Linlithgow Story is a museum which chronicles the Stewart kings, who built Linlithgow Palace, and the ordinary people who developed the trades of the town. Using displays and multi-media presentations, industries such as tanning, shoe-making, mining, tobacco manufacture, distilling and paper-making are described. The royal connections of the town are recounted, from King David I (c.1080 - 1153 ), who built a hunting lodge on the site of the palace, to King James VI (1566 - 1625 ) who left Scotland to rule from London. There is also a small exhibition to celebrate Star Trek character Lieutenant Commander "Scotty" Scott, who is said to have been born in Linlithgow in 2222, with memorabilia from the TV show and personal items donated by the actor James Doohan's family.

Annet House was built around 1787 as a home for George Bartholomew, a merchant and Dean of Guild of Linlithgow. A private residence until the 1930s, it became the town's Police Headquarters and then a war-time Civil Defence Headquarters. After the war, the building was purchased by local people to be used as a community centre. Between 1952 and 1969 the house was used as a library and West Lothian District Council used the house as offices between 1975 and 1991. From 1992, it was then leased to Linlithgow Heritage Trust to become a museum for the town.

The narrow, long garden, to the rear, owes its dimensions to the mediaeval division of land into strips, or riggs. Terraced into four levels, it includes sensory plantings, vegetables and fruit, together with a statue of Mary, Queen of Scots, and an ice-house. The highest level of the garden offers fine views over the town, including Linlithgow Palace and Loch.

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