2018 WILL be a special year for Haddington, as it marks the 700th anniversary of the King Robert the Bruce Charter to the town.

This charter, which is the oldest document held in East Lothian Council’s Archive, is a confirmation charter redefining the town’s rights as a royal burgh laid down in the 12th century by King David I.

Exactly when King David established Haddington as a royal burgh is uncertain because no charter survives, and so the 1318 Robert the Bruce Charter is particularly special.

Next year, Haddington 700 celebrates the town’s history and culture, showcasing all that Haddington has to offer with a year of projects and events.

The programme will kick off on January 20 when a special Opening Day will see events at the John Gray Centre, St Mary’s Church and Haddington Corn Exchange.

As part of the day’s programme, experts from Glasgow and Liverpool John Moores University will give an insight into the project which saw Bruce’s face reconstructed last year.

The image was produced using casts from what is believed to be the skull of the famous Scottish king and was the culmination of a two-year research project by historians at both universities.

It’s creation was the first time a remotely accurate image had been produced.

Portraits and statues of The Bruce have always relied on the creator’s imagination.

The Bruce Charter will be unveiled by Provost John McMillan and be on display for the day at Haddington’s John Gray Centre, where East Lothian Council’s archives are housed.

Haddington’s Bruce Charter, which is written in latin on vellum parchment, survives in remarkable condition.

The King’s great seal is attached but is no longer complete.

Because of the age of the charter and the materials it is made from it can only be displayed for very short periods of time.

It is always possible to consult the charter in the Archive and Local History Centre at the John Gray Centre, during opening times (Monday, Tuesday and Friday).

For more information about Haddington 700 and the January 20 Opening Day, visit Haddington700.com or pop in to John Gray Centre.

Tickets can be purchased in advance from Haddington Library or online at thebrunton.co.uk