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.
What the Arched House lacks in size, it makes up for in cultural significance. It’s fascinating to see where this hugely influential man grew up.
Many of Carlyle’s belongings are still in situ, along with domestic items of the time, providing an authentic glimpse into Victorian life and a fascinating insight into Thomas Carlyle’s early years. There are also many photos and reproductions of paintings of Carlyle and his wife Jane, a famous 19th-century literary couple.
Factsheets in each room, along with knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff, add insight to your visit.
After your visit, enjoy a wander round the pretty village of Ecclefechan and absorb the atmosphere that nurtured the ‘Sage of Ecclefechan’. There is a great view from the top of the village, where there is a replica of Boehm’s statue of Carlyle on the Embankment in London.
Stop somewhere for a famous Ecclefechan tart before you leave!
Dogs are not permitted in the house.
Parking is available on the road, within 50m of the property.
Guided tours last for 45 minutes.
The maximum capacity of groups is 15.
The property is not suitable for coach parking.
School visits can be arranged – please telephone 01576 300666.
There is rough paving between the parking spaces on the road and the cottage.
There is one step into the main room on the ground floor, and a steep flight of stairs up to two rooms on the second floor.
Large-print factsheets are available on request.
Touch tours are available – please book in advance.
Thomas Carlyle's Birthplace is in Ecclefechan, 5.5 miles south-east of Lockerbie and 6 miles north-west of Gretna Green.