Midlothian’s 100 Objects - The Old Meal Market Inn, Dalkeith

The Old Meal Market Inn, Dalkeith, dates back to the 1780s. Photo: Midlothian Council Local Studies/Scran

The Old Meal Market Inn, Dalkeith, dates back to the 1780s. Photo: Midlothian Council Local Studies/Scran

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The Dalkeith meal market took place on Monday. Carts laden with grain arrived from Midlothian, Haddingtonshire, and the Borders.

Up to 1,000 carts lined the High Street. Each hung a sample bag out for inspection.

The church bell rang to start the sale which might be over within 15 minutes.

Afterwards carters bought provisions, and went to the Inn. The meal market was held in front of the Meal Market Inn - hence the name. It later transferred to the front of the Tolbooth.

The Old Mealmarket Inn, 2-4 St Andrew Street, Dalkeith, is thought to date from 1780. It was originally called the Wool Pack.

The present Inn was built by a partner in a brewery across the road, around 1874. The cartshed at the side was a smiddy in the 19th century. The building is white harled and L-shaped. Its roof is tiled.

In 1540, a charter made Dalkeith a free burgh of barony and regality, with the right to hold a weekly market.

Surrounded by farms, close to Edinburgh and Leith, it also supplied the west of Scotland. In 1793 it was described as “the greatest market for grain in Scotland”.

Photo: Midlothian Council Local Studies/Scran

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