Dalkeith has always been renowned for the quality of its educational establishments. The 18th and 19th centuries were times of industrial change, of division within the Church and a rise of new church bodies and buildings. Church development in those days was key to the expansion of school facilities and school records reflected the social conditions.

In the 18th century some of Scotland’s most illustrious families, often from the new industrial and merchant classes were educated in Dalkeith. Robert Mushet became Head of the Royal Mint and his brother David developed a new and revolutionary process to prepare iron.

Schools were inspected even then, and in 1847 The Grammar School of Dalkeith, (which was located between St Nicholas Church and the Masonic Hall) excelled – as the inspector’s report showed:

“Without any exception this is the best taught school in Latin and Greek that I have seen anywhere. The master is a man of modest, gentlemanly behaviour, and though quiet in manner an enthusiast in his calling, particularly in languages and geography. Dalkeith is highly favoured in possessing a master so rarely qualified, and whose pupils are well known at university by the unusual proficiency they bring to it.”

Schools and life in the community were, and still are, intrinsically linked. Here and in the museum, you can discover about old Dalkeith – how the tiny schools found in private houses in the 19th century expanded into the large multi-functional campus of the 21st century Dalkeith secondary schools.

You can begin your educational journey here, in the museum.

Handling Boxes

Bring the museum into your classroom. Get a feel for the past by asking for a themed handling box for use in school. Although not all items of the museum’s collection can be loaned out, many can, so that pupils are able to see and feel for themselves items that were used in the home, in the workplace and for entertainment in Dalkeith.
Boxes contain up to 5 or 6 items linked to a specific subject. Topics could include – domestic life, education, or Victorian life. Where possible we will try to tailor items to specific curriculum/class needs. Please let us know what you would like and when you would like it. Please allow 3 weeks notice prior to required date.

Plan some time out – Book a class visit to the Museum

A visit to the museum can bring the past to life. Be marvelled by the sheer scale of the Victorian Corn Exchange which is home to the collection.

The exhibits span the centuries and reflect the everyday activities of the people who lived and worked here. Our team of volunteers will be pleased to tailor a visit to meet the needs of individual classes.

Why not combine a visit to the museum with an outdoor Walking Tour? Learn about the ancient buildings and what they were used for. Look up and look down and learn of the stories, some dark and very deadly, that the stones around you can tell.

Tours last around 1hour 30 minutes, and will begin at the museum and include access to historical sites not normally open for general view.

How to book a class visit to the museum or an outdoor Walking Tour

To allow us to meet your requirements please provide at least three weeks’ notice prior to your preferred date

Image Gallery

The museum has an extensive library of images and maps of old Dalkeith. Here is a selection of those which will give you an idea of what the centre of Dalkeith looked like – before Jarnac Court. The town centre and the surrounding areas were very, very different to what you see now.

Dalkeith was a self-sufficient, busy market town with lots of different shops and the surrounding area, where many of you now live, was fields and farms where food was produced.

These images and maps can be used in school projects. Please also refer to the museum for additional images which can be scanned on request.

The museum was created as part of the project to restore the Corn Exchange undertaken with Heritage Lottery Funding in 2016.

Even in those early days, work with schools was included in the project. Here we look back at the enactments of Murder at the Neuk and The Escaped Monkey Story which were created and produced by pupils at Woodburn Primary and Saltersgate Schools respectively.

Relive and remember your school projects here!

Resource Library

This area is currently a blank canvas.
We hope to have developed download resources for inclusion in 2024.