Members of Musselburgh Conservation Society voted overwhelmingly for this project to receive the Society’s Design Award at their 2014 Annual General Meeting.
Twenty years ago the St. Michael’s Church graveyard wall, next to the steps in Church Lane, started to lean dangerously and had to be made safe from collapse by East Lothian Council with temporary steel buttresses concealed by a temporary plywood fence.
During those twenty years, in which two forests grew up and were cut down in the space between the wall and the temporary plywood fence, this latter becoming the frequent target of spray painting vandals, Inveresk Village Society and Musselburgh Conservation Society persistently lobbied the Council for the proper restoration of the wall and its immediate surroundings.
Finally, after protracted negotiations about costs and timing and with the approval of Historic Scotland, the Council appointed a contractor to carry out the necessary work, which was completed in 2014 to a commendably high standard.
The leaning wall remains with its original railings, the steel buttresses have been covered with red sandstone rocks held in place lower down by a new retaining wall with railings. The steps have been repaired where necessary and their rusty railings have been repainted black to match the others. Also, new tarmac and gravel have been laid in the areas between the steps.
The result has been a huge improvement to Church Lane and the environs of St. Michael’s Church, providing a much more pleasant walk for pedestrians using this route linking Musselburgh, Inveresk and the River Esk.
Sincere thanks to Councillor John Caldwell for all his support and help in making this project possible.