Inveresk (Gaelic: Inbhir Easg) is a village in East Lothian, Scotland situated immediately to the south of Musselburgh. It has been designated a conservation area since 1969. It is situated on slightly elevated ground on the north bank of a loop of the River Esk. This ridge of ground, 20 to 25 metres above sea level, was used by the Romans as the location for a fort in the 2nd century AD.[1]


St. Michael's Parish Church, Inveresk
Location within Scotland
OS grid referenceNT346719
Civil parish
  • Inveresk
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtEH21
Dialling code0131
EU ParliamentScotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament

The element "Inver", from the Gaelic inbhir, refers to the confluence of the river Esk with the Firth of Forth.[2]

The village was formerly in the Midlothian parish of the same name and developed distinctly from the separate burgh of Musselburgh.


Inveresk has a fine street of 17th- and 18th-century houses. Inveresk Lodge is now privately leased, but the adjacent Inveresk Lodge Garden belongs to the National Trust for Scotland, and its west facing gardens overlooking the river Esk are open to the public. This was formerly the mansion of James Wedderburn who had made his fortune as a slave-owning sugar plantation owner in Jamaica. When his son by one of his slaves, Robert Wedderburn, travelled to Inveresk to claim his kinship he was insultingly rejected by his father who gave him some small beer and a broken or bent sixpence. This experience turned Robert Wedderburn to radicalism.

The war memorial, south of the church, was designed by Sir Robert Lorimer in 1920.[3]

St. Michael's Church

The village is dominated by St. Michael's church that stands at its west end on the summit of the local hill overlooking Musselburgh. Its graveyard/cemetery stretches westwards for almost 300m and is split into separate walled sections (marking its various stages of extension) which can be broadly bracketed as original (mainly 18th century), a late Victorian extension, an Edwardian/ early 20th century extension to the north, and a modern section to the far west.

The current church is by Robert Nisbet and dates to 1805 and has a stone spire of Wren-influence but is believed to date to the 6th century.[4]

Noteworthy graves

The graveyard has a number of interesting graves:-

Other notable persons linked to Inveresk


  1. Burnet,JEM (1999) A reason for Inveresk. Courtyard Press, Inveresk. ISBN 0-9537450-0-7
  2. Dixon, Norman. "The Placenames of Midlothian" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 August 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2012. "'The mouth of the R. Esk' v. G. inbhir, inbhear: 'the confluence of a stream with the sea.'"
  3. Dictionary of Scottish Architects: Robert Lorimer
  4. McWilliam, Colin (1978). Buildings of Scotland Lothian except Edinburgh. Penguin Books.
  6. Dickson Wright, Clarissa (2012). Clarissa's England: A gamely gallop through the English counties. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 9781444729139.
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