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A small & free history lesson: THE PEOPLE'S STORY
During our visit to Edinburgh I was amazed at how many museums and galleries are absolutely free to visit, without any admission charges. And I was grateful that I'd done my homework on VT and other websites before our trip, because next to the National Museum of Scotland and other obvious sites there are some smaller, highly interesting museums tucked-away from the usual tourist path that are easy to miss - such as the People's Story.
The People's Story is located in the old Tollbooth prison building.
We came here after visiting the Museum of Edinburgh (just on the opposite side of the street; see separate tip) and after learning all about the city's history there & getting a glimpse of the people who lived here throughout the ages, this museum then gives you the full & more detailed insight into the lives of local merchants, politicians, criminals, children, house wives, beggars, poets & musicians - all of the characters that made-up Edinburgh's "regular Joes" in their work and their leisure, their joy and their hardship; from the late 18th century to the present day.
This house really does send you back into the sights, sounds and even smells (!) of the past.
The museum has many unique displays including a prison cell, pub and tea room, a servant at work and how a 1940s kitchen may have looked. Some of the dolls and displays are a bit old and worn, but I thought this added to the charm & the feel of the place.
On the ground floor we read short stories, saw original photographs and heard recordings from ordinary Edinburgh folk talking about their daily lives. There are plenty of interactive presentations and also a short video as well.
Here you can feel the despair of the dungeon; the warm camaraderie of the pub; the declarations of the town crier and the demands of political and social reformers. Hear stories from servants; a fish monger's wife; a seamstress; wealthy ladies in a tea room any many more. There are also many original union banners and boards/signs from demonstrations & marches. History remembers the rich, the famous, the talented and the scandalous, but let's put Edinburgh's poets, inventors and actors such as Sir Walter Scott and Sean Connery aside and have a good look at the ordinary people of Edinburgh...
we really enjoyed this exhibit and would definitely come back here on our next visit to the capital.
Sundays (during August only): 12noon-05:00pm.
Admission is FREE - although donations are welcome & all sales from their small gift shop pay towards the upkeep of this museum.
I bought a very interesting little booklet in their gift shop, called "Traditional beliefs and historic superstitions of Scotland."
TIP: A visit here should go hand-in-hand with a visit to "The Museum of Edinburgh", exactly opposite.
Panorama of the ground floor:
- Family Travel
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
The People's Story
The "museum" has used oral history, personal reminiscence and written sources to enable it to tell the story of the lives, work and past times of the people of Edinburgh. It seems to cover a wide period from the 18th century to the current time.
An enjoyable place to visit, if you want to find out a little more about the lives of the citizens of Auld Reekie. For those who do not know - "Auld Reekie" means "Old Smokey" an historic name used for Edinburgh due it's former appearance covered in smoke from open fires and industry.
National Gallery and Royal Scottish Academy
Art gallery complex in 2 main buildings - the Royal Scottish Academy fronting Princes Street at The Mound, and behind it the National Gallery of Scotland. Both usually free, but may charge for special events. National Gallery is the place for your Rubens, Goya, Titian etc. RSA has the specials - we just missed an Andy Warhol exhibition.
Because its free, and centrally located, you can "pop in" any time, sit down and gaze at a few Raphaels or Poussins.
I lived in Edinburgh for 13 years and my parents were there for 25. It took me until my 55th birthday to actually go in and have a look!
Anyway, as you'll see from my homepage looking for new experiences is part of my ethos, and this was part of it!
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Arts and Culture
The People's Story (museum)
The Peoples Story is a museum in detailing the history of Edinburgh and it's people.
The museum tells us about the lives and times of Edinburgh people through the ages to the present day through sights, sounds and smells.
There are many displays including a tearoom, a servant at work and how a 1940's kitchen may have looked.
The Peoples Story museum is open Monday-Saturday throughout the year and during August is also open on a Sunday. There is no entrance fee. The building itself also has history - built in 1591, it was the courthouse, prison, and council house.
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
The Peoples story
This museum tells the story of the people of Edinburgh from the late 18th century to the present day. This museum is filled with sights, sounds and, even, smells of the life in Edinburgh the past years.
- Museum Visits
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