Musselburgh Tolbooth and Old Town Hall

Old Town Hall & Cross, Musselburgh
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Old Town Hall & Cross, Musselburgh

The Tolbooth is located on the north side of the High Street in Musselburgh. The A-listed building dates from 1590, replacing an earlier building destroyed by the Earl of Hertford in the 1540s. The clock-tower with its unusual belfry may be up to a century older - its clock is certainly dated 1496. The current building is said to have been constructed using stone taken from the former Our Lady of Loretto Chapel, which was demolished in the years following the Reformation. The building comprises three floors, with an extension to the northeast of 1731-33 which contains a courtroom on the upper floor - dating from 1773. A three-bay facade was added on the eastern end in 1900-01, with a large hall behind, designed by the local architect William Constable, to transform the building into an appropriate town hall for the burgh.

The building now provides an entertainment venue and office space for the local authority. The tunnel-vaulted spaces of the lower level have traditionally been used as shops, but today include the Musselburgh Museum (opened 2011).

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