Dalkeith’s new museum rings the changes

The Duke of Buccleuch rings the old Dalkeith station bell to officially open the towns new museum.  Photo: Jon Savage
The Duke of Buccleuch rings the old Dalkeith station bell to officially open the towns new museum. Photo: Jon Savage

The Duke of Buccleuch officially opened the new Dalkeith Museum in the recently repaired and restored Corn Exchange last week.

The new museum is a key component in the regeneration of the Corn Exchange which has been restored by Melville Housing Association with the benefit of financial assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland.

The Grade A listed building, on Dalkeith’s High Street, was lying empty and at risk when Melville bought the building in 2013 with the intention of using it for its new offices, community meeting rooms and a new museum for the town.

The repair and conversion scheme was carefully designed to respect the character of this historic building whilst at the same time providing modern office accommodation and a fully-fitted out and accessible museum for the Dalkeith History Society.

As part of the scheme a heritage officer post was created to deliver a community heritage activity plan and many engagement projects have been carried out to promote the new museum and its unique collection to local schools, community groups and other local organisations.

The Dalkeith History Society will manage the museum and volunteers have now been recruited.

There is the potential to open four days a week with the plan to open the first Saturday every month. Opening to the public will commence from June 21 , with the first Saturday opening planned for July 2.

History society chairman Alan Mason said: “We are delighted that Richard, Duke of Buccleuch opened the new museum. It was the Duke’s ancestors who gave the land for the building of the Corn Exchange and Duke Richard rang the old Dalkeith station bell to signify that the museum is open.”

Glasgow Riverside Museum has loaned the bell to the museum for the opening of the Dalkeith musuem.