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23 Mar 2020

Thatching Burns Cottage

Thatcher Dave Brooks at work on the roof of Burns Cottage, Alloway
Thatcher Dave Brooks at work on the roof of Burns Cottage, Alloway
New for 2020 – at Number 16 on our 100 Ways list is replacing the roof at Burns Cottage and carrying our vital repairs to the building, so that it stands for centuries more.
Thatching Burns Cottage video

At the start of 2020, we began the process of mending the roof at Burns Cottage, the place in Alloway, Ayrshire, where Burns was born in 1759. The humble clay and thatch house was built by his father, William Burnes, in 1757 and is where Robert lived until the age of seven.

We’ve been undertaking extensive conservation work to tackle the impact of Scottish winters. Specialist teams have been replacing the traditional thatched roof and repairing the walls and chimney too.

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“Thanks to the generous donations we’ve received, we’ve been able to bring specialists from all over the country to conserve the cottage. ”
Caroline Smith, Operations Manager at Robert Burns Birthplace Museum

Caroline continues: ‘The cottage is being repaired so that it’s there for future generations to enjoy. The money raised has helped pay for the thatching, fix the chimney and walls, and limewash the cottage. Everything being done is in keeping with the original construction of the cottage and if Burns were to visit today, he’d be familiar with many of the methods and skills that are being used here.’

Robert Burns Birthplace Museum is currently closed due to the coronavirus emergency. Visit its webpage to learn more about its world-leading Burns collection in Scots and English.

The National Trust for Scotland works every day to protect Scotland’s national and natural treasures. From coastlines to castles, art to architecture, wildlife to wilderness, we protect all of this For the Love of Scotland.

This work would not be possible without the support of our members and donors. Our charity needs that support now more than ever.  

The kitchen where Burns was born
The kitchen where Burns was born