A-Z of Secret Edinburgh: Anatomical Museum

The Anatomical Museum

The Anatomical Museum, which is part of Edinburgh University’s School of Biomedical Sciences and tucked away in Teviot Place, is well worth examining.

Opened in 1884, the imposing lobby welcomes you with a full-size elephant skeleton.

Burke carried out at least 16 murders in the 1820s

The museum also contains the haunting facial cast of mass murderer William Burke, taken shortly before his execution in 1829 and displayed alongside Burke’s skeleton.

Together with accomplice William Hare, Burke carried out at least 16 murders in the 1820s and sold the bodies for use in anatomy lessons at yes, you’ve guessed it, this very university.

More than 40 other masks, created from casts taken in both life and death, are on display, including Sir Walter Scott, Isaac Newton, Shakespeare and King George III.

The Anatomical Museum is open to the general public on the last Saturday of the month from 10am-4pm. Admission is free. Address: Doorway 3, Medical School, Teviot Place, EH8 9AG.

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