A new museum is open at Prestonpans Town Hall following a refurbishment of the Victorian building by The Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust.

The Battle of Prestonpans Jacobite Museum has been renovated to reflect more of its original Victorian features. The centrepiece is be an eight-feet diorama of the battlefield as it looked in 1745, setting the fighting among landmarks which can still be seen today.

It also displays sections of the famous 105-metre Prestonpans Tapestry, which change every five months to advance the story.

Historical artefacts on display at the museum include musket-balls recovered from the battlefield; contemporary engravings and newspaper reports; a lock of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s hair; and original letters written by local resident Colonel James Gardiner, who was mortally wounded in the battle.

The current free-to-visit exhibition focuses on the Battle of Prestonpans, a critical Jacobite conflict in 1745 which left a historical and cultural legacy that is still felt today.

Children are welcome and able to explore a camp area with tents and a mock campfire, allowing them an insight into the lives of the soldiers who took part in the battle. Special sessions have been designed for school classes, too, and groups are invited to book private visits to the museum.

A programme of events and activities will run throughout the year.

The Battle of Prestonpans Jacobite Museum will be open to the public at weekends, with groups and school visits welcomed by appointment during the week. Entry is free, although its operation is entirely supported by visitor donations.

Dr Arran Johnston, executive trustee of The Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust said: “While the Trust’s focus is primarily on the Battle of Prestonpans and the wider Jacobite context, we will also be working in partnership with other local heritage and volunteer groups to recognise other aspects of the 1,000 year-history of Prestonpans.”