Museum of Edinburgh – Edinburgh, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

Museum of Edinburgh

This 16th-century house tells the city's history through old artifacts and quirky tales. 


The Museum of Edinburgh recalls the weird and wonderful history of Scotland’s capital. Step inside the bright yellow 16th-century house—which is also known as the Huntly House and the Speaking House for the many Latin inscriptions across its façade—and you’ll find bizarre objects and historical narratives that will guide you through the city’s timeline.

The museum, which is located in the Canongate of the city’s Royal Mile, houses a trove of historic treasures. You can see the National Covenant of 1638, a pivotal doctrine protecting the Scottish Presbyterian Church by which civil war was declared. You’ll also be able to see models of how the Old Town once looked and glimpse 18th-century architect James Craig’s original plans mapping out the city’s New Town.

Decorative objects from stained glass windows to late 18th-century pottery showcasing a long tradition of Scottish craftsmanship fill its display cases. A certain highlight of the museum’s permanent collection is a small exhibition featuring the collar and bowl once belonging to Edinburgh’s beloved Greyfriars Bobby, the legendary Skye terrier who supposedly sat by his owners grave each day for 14 years until his own death.

The museum also hosts a rotating program of special exhibitions. Visitors may recognize Huntly House from the third season of the Outlander television series.

Know Before You Go

The Museum of Edinburgh is conveniently located on the Royal Mile near major attractions including Scottish Parliament, Holyrood Palace, and Arthur’s Seat. It's open daily from 10 a.. to 5 p.m. and admission is free. Tour buses regularly stop at the museum, which is also accessible by the 35 and 36 public buses.

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