Burns Cottage

    January 2011.

    Vicky Sartain

    Robert Burns Birthplace Museum is a chance to really get to know Scotland’s favourite son. The museum site is centred around Burns Cottage, the poet’s first home. The two-roomed clay and thatch house was built by his father, William Burness in 1757. Burns, Scotland’s national poet, was born there two years later. He lived in this humble home for the first seven years of his life.

    Today, the museum area includes this cottage, an elegant monument and gardens created in his honour, and a modern museum housing the world’s most important collection of artefacts about his life and his works. Discover interactive displays and exhibitions tracing Burns’ life story and some of his most famous writings.

    Burns was an Ayrshire ploughman who rose from humble beginnings to become a famous poet. His sense of Scottish pride, egalitarianism and quick wit have become part of the Scottish character itself.

    From the age of 30 until his death seven years later, Robert Burns was an excise man. Taking taxes on goods such as malted grain, alcohol, paper and soap was unpopular and the job of the excise man was a risky business. Visitors can see the pair of pistols Burns carried everywhere which are personalised with his initials.

    Look out too for the list of subscribers to his ‘Scotch Poems’. They sold well and Burns has scored off subscribers’ names, following-up on promises to buy his book. But one name didn’t honour their promise. Beside William Lorimer’s name Burns notes ‘The Blockhead refused it’.

    The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Murdoch’s Lane, Alloway, Ayr, Scotland KA7 4PQ.

    Tel: 0844 493 2601. www.burnsmuseum.org.uk


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