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Ellisland Farmhouse Museum

Auldgirth, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland

Robert Burns Ellisland Trust

Category A

Transforming the home of national bard Robert Burns into a Centre for Songwriting

This farmhouse, known as a steading, was the marital home of Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet. Built under Burns’ direction at a time of agricultural improvement in 1788, the house currently contains a significant museum collection and the outbuildings, comprising stables, byres, and a threshing barn, are used for storage and occasional events.

The Robert Burns Ellisland Trust plans to create a Centre for Songwriting at the site to reflect the significance of the work that Burns completed while living at the farm, including the writing of some of his most well-known and loved songs: ‘Auld Lang Syne’, ‘Banks and Braes’ and ‘Tam O Shanter.’ Little altered by time, it is possible to understand here the relationship between buildings and nature. The largely intact farmland, kitchen garden, orchard and woodland walk along the bank of the River Nith all contribute to the legacy of Burns’ relationship with Ellisland. As part of the project, the steading will be restored, while outbuildings will be sensitively adapted to accommodate educational activities and events themed around music and nature poetry. An adjacent modern building will provide income via holiday lets.

A William Grant Foundation-supported AHF grant is contributing towards some ‘stitch in time’ repairs while the project is developed to prevent further deterioration and enable continued activity on the site. Feasibility work, supported by an Historic Environment Scotland-supported AHF grant, will test market demand and explore how new uses might be sensitively accommodated across the steading.

AHF Funding

Project Development Grant - £10,000 (2021)

Project Viability Grant - £9,990 (2022)

Image Credits

Duncan Ireland and South of Scotland Destination Alliance
Gordon Barr







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