16th century Town House at the heart of Dunbar. Explore the building, discover the town. With friendly staff always on hand to bring the history of the town and surrounding area to life.
The Town House is one of Dunbar's oldest buildings and the perfect place to begin a visit to the town. With its distinctive witch's hat tower and its bell, clock and sun dials the Town House has been the focus of town life since the 16th century. Our friendly staff are always on hand to tell you about the town, the surrounding area and bring the history of the building to life. If you take a guided tour of the building, there are unusual and interesting things to see on every floor. Portraits of every town provost all the way back to 1833 chart a fascinating history of changing fashions, facial hair, photography and portraiture. Historic heraldic panels and a set of ceremonial robes evoke a grander era of local government. On the top floor you will find Scotland's oldest functioning council chamber. For over 400 years councillors and magistrates presided over the affairs of the burgh from this room including the infamous East Lothian witch trials. Below the chamber is a grimly atmospheric jail with its original massive iron door which has become popular ghost hunting venue. In the neighbouring debtor's cell the fireplace has been preserved complete with prisoners' graffiti. The building is also home to a museum and gallery with changing historical and art exhibitions. Volunteers from Dunbar and District History Society maintain a local history display and are often available to provide further information from the comprehensive local history archive and chat about local history. The Town House also provides a tourist information service. The building is fully accessible on all levels with toilets on the ground floor.