Places to visit

Thomas Carlyle's Birthplace

Thomas Carlyle's Birthplace

Thomas Carlyle's Birthplace

Childhood home of one of Britain's most influential thinkers

  • View objects and artefacts from Carlyle’s early years, including his cradle.

  • Admire the writing desk and a bookcase full of Carlyle’s books and reference texts.

  • See Carlyle’s 80th birthday tribute, signed by many Victorian public figures. 

  • Visit nearby Ecclefechan churchyard, where Carlyle was laid to rest in 1881 next to his parents.

Little did anyone know that the boy born here in 1795 would go on to become one of the most prolific writers and social commentators of the 19th century.

The unassuming exterior of this wee house in Ecclefechan, near Lockerbie, belies its significance in Scottish history. The house was constructed by Carlyle’s father and uncle, both local stonemasons, and is a fine example of Scottish 18th-century vernacular architecture.

When Thomas Carlyle was 13 he left Ecclefechan and walked 84 miles to Edinburgh, to attend the university.

The Arched House has remained virtually untouched since 1881, when it was first opened to the public.