Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Ayrshire

Article by Baldur Jacobs

The Bard, Robert Burns, now has his own dedicated museum, promising to properly celebrate the lifetime achievements and legacy of the famous Scottish poet.

The National Trust for Scotland has opened the new 1,600 metre-square, £21 million Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Ayrshire, on the site of the poet’s birthplace and former home.

VISITORS flocked to the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum as it officially opened its doors.

A celebratory one day, ‘free entry’, deal had up to 1763 people who came from all parts of Scotland to enjoy the delights of the new museum.

“People were waiting to get in when we opened on Saturday morning and such was the interest from the public in our new museum that we decided to extend our opening hours until 6pm.” said Caroline Glenn, property manager for the new museum. “Everything went extremely well with visitors and locals alike seeming to enjoy the programme of events.

“On Sunday, which wasn’t free entry, we had 965 admissions to the museum, which exceeded our expectations.

The opening heralded the beginning of a weekend full of activities to celebrate the official opening of the new museum and the annual Alloway 1759 celebrations timed to take place just before Robert Burns’ birthday on January 25.

A new footbridge has also been created to link Burns Monument, Alloway Auld Kirk, Burns Cottage, an education pavilion and Auld Brig O’Doon to the new museum.

The museum is the result of years of planning and fundraising and aims to highlight every aspect of Burn’s life.

‘Burns Revealed’ is the first major additional exhibition to be held within the museum.

Its striking images of Burns by celebrated, Ayrshire based artist Peter Howson, sold out within days of their release.

A further nine paintings will shortly be added to the exhibition.

This world class visitor attraction now brings together the most substantial Burns collection of its kind including 5000 historic artefacts, manuscripts and pieces of memorabilia.

The museum’s director, Nat Edwards, stated that “Our aim is to provide a modern and relevant interpretation of Burns that will intrigue visitors of all ages, whether they are lifelong Burns enthusiasts or completely new to his work”.

“Here you will not just be able to read the manuscript of Tam o’ Shanter, you can see the fireplace round which Burns first heard the stories that he turned into that poem, and you can look out the window and see that landscape, places like the Kirk Alloway and Brig O’Doon where the poem takes place. It gives you every facet of the man and his work.”

The museum is the most ambitious project the National Trust for Scotland has ever embarked upon and has been supported by the Scottish Government, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Enterprise and South Ayrshire Council together with an army of donors who have generously contributed to its creation.

The Fame section, which looks at the cult of Burns and how the enchantment with him grew after he died, includes an interactive Burns Supper, which encourages museum visitors to engage with each other as they learn about the way in which the Bard’s birthday is celebrated around the world on January 25.

from Baldur

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The Bard, Robert Burns, now has his own dedicated museum, promising to properly celebrate the lifetime achievements and legacy of the famous Scottish poet.

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