When, glimmering thro’ the groaning trees, Kirk-Aloway seem’d in a bleeze;’ [Tam o’ Shanter, 1790]

Visit the graves of Burns’s father and younger sister in this 16th-century church ruin, ‘where ghaists and houlets nightly cry’.

The 16th-century church was already a ruin by Burns’s time. Burns chose the kirk’s weathered gable-end as the spot where Tam first spies the capering witches and warlocks who subsequently give him chase.

You can visit the graves of Burns’s father William Burnes and sister Isabella Burns Begg. Many of the gravestones bear intricate carvings, including Burns’s father’s, whose inscription was penned by the bard himself.

Other notable people buried here include Lord Alloway and Charles Acton Broke. He was the son of Rear Admiral Sir Philip Bowes Acton Broke, the first man to defeat and capture an American ship in the War of 1812.