The public buildings include the town-hall (dating from 1762 and altered in 1876), the tolbooth (1590), and the grammar school.
Near the tolbooth stands the market cross, a stone column with a unicorn on the top supporting the burgh arms. At the west end of High Street is a statue of David Macbeth Moir ("Delta," 1798-1851), Musselburgh's most famous son.
The public buildings include the town hall, a fine and commodious house on the site of the old tolbooth; the Falconer museum, containing among other exhibits several valuable fossils, and named after Dr Hugh Falconer (1808-1865), the distinguished palaeontologist and botanist, a native of the town; the mechanics' institute; the agricultural and market hall; Leanchoil hospital and Anderson's Institution for poor boys.
He was indeed taken in June 1673 while holding a conventicle at Knockdow, and condemned by the privy council to 4 years and 3 months' imprisonment on the Bass Rock and a further 15 months in the Tolbooth at Edinburgh.
Just outside the church in Parliament Square, the supposed grave of John Knox is indicated by a stone set in the pavement bearing his initials, and in the pavement to the west a heart indicates the site of the old Tolbooth,' which figures prominently in Scott's Heart of Midlothian.
The Canongate Tolbooth adjoins the parish church, in the burial-ground of which is the tombstone raised by Burns to the memory of Robert Fergusson, and where Dugald Stewart, Adam Smith and other men of note were buried.
A sum of Lioo,000 was bequeathed by Mr Andrew Usher (1826-1898) for a hall to be called the Usher Hall and to supplement I The original Tolbooth was completed in 1501, but a new one took its place in 1563-1564, and was subsequently altered.
In 1736 a smuggler named Wilson, who had won popularity by helping a companion to escape from the Tolbooth prison, was hanged; and, some slight disturbance occurring at the execution, the city guard fired on the mob, killing a few and wounding a considerable number of persons.
Into various parts of the fabric were built relics and curiosities from historical structures, such as the doorway of the old Tolbooth in Edinburgh.
The old tolbooth, in which William Maitland of Lethington, Queen Mary's secretary, poisoned himself in 1573, to avoid execution for adhering to Mary's cause, was demolished in 1819.
In 1598 he was translated to the parish church of the Upper Tolbooth, Edinburgh, and immediately thereafter to that of the Grey Friars (then known as the Magdalen Church).