See all stories
25 Jan 2019

Urgent appeal to save Burns Cottage

Burns Cottage in Alloway
Burns Cottage in Alloway
On the anniversary of Robert Burns’s birthday, 25 January, the National Trust for Scotland is appealing for donations to help protect Burns Cottage before it’s damaged beyond repair.

The cottage in the Ayrshire town of Alloway was built in 1757 by Robert’s father, William Burnes, but centuries of Scottish winters have taken their toll, with the roof, walls and chimney in desperate need of specialist attention. 

The cottage showing damage to the walls and moss growing on the thatched roof
The cottage showing damage to the walls and moss growing on the thatched roof

Caroline Smith, Operations Manager at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum said: ‘At the back of the cottage, the traditional thatched roof has developed significant tears and has worn away. Towards the front, moss is also beginning to grow, collecting rainwater and rotting the thatch underneath. The north-west gable is starting to crack, letting the wind and rain in and damaging the interior plasterwork.’

Damage on the gable end of the cottage
Damage on the gable end of the cottage
The worn thatched roof at the back of the cottage
The worn thatched roof at the back of the cottage

Robert Burns, Scotland’s National Bard, was born in the cottage in 1759. Just five years after his death, a small group of his friends hosted the very first Burns Supper in 1801, a tradition that is enjoyed the world over to this day.

Burns Cottage has been cared for by the National Trust for Scotland since 2008, but we’re seeking the help of Burns lovers to ensure the cottage remains an inspiring place to visit. 

We need to raise £100,000 to save Burns Cottage. By giving just £15, donors can help fix the north-west wall; £35 will help restore a patch of thatch; and £60 will limewash a section of the walls.

Moss growing on the thatched roof at the front of the cottage
Moss growing on the thatched roof at the front of the cottage

Caroline continued: ‘Plans are in place to repair the wall at the end of the cottage, cracks along the walls and windows will be filled, the roof re-thatched and the outer walls re-limewashed, weatherproofing the cottage and protecting it for the future.

‘Everything we do at the museum is for the love of Scotland. We’re all hugely passionate about Robert Burns and sharing the stories of his life and work, but we’re now asking for help to protect the legacy of Ayrshire’s most famous son.’

Save Burns Cottage

The auld cley biggin’ in Alloway needs your help

Donate today