The 5 best Glasgow Robert Burns locations
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Robert Burns, Burns, also known as Rabbie Burns or the Bard of Ayrshire, was born in 1759 in Alloway (Ayrshire) and died just 37 years later at his home in Dumfries. He is a poet and lyricist who is regarded as the national poet of Scotland.

Burns is a pioneer of the Romantic movement and is well known as a poet who has written extensively in the Scots language, although many of his writings are in English and a light Scots dialect.

The bard showed an exceptional writing talent since he was 15 years old, when he penned his first love poems, though it was not until 1786, at the age of 27, that he rose to fame with the publication of his first collection of poetry. This collection made a huge impression on Edinburgh’s literary elite, and propelled Burns to celebrity status.

In addition to his original compositions, Burns also revised or adapted folk songs from all across Scotland, such as his poem “Auld Lang Syne”, which is traditionally sung on Hogmanay (the last day of the year) and at the end of gatherings of Scots around the world.

Today, the Celebration of his work in Scotland has become a national cult to his charismatic personality and includes the annual celebration of the Robert Burns supper, usually near to the poet’s birthday on 25th January.

Admire the Mitchell Library

THE MITCHELL LIBRARY | 2018 Robert Burns Gold Winner

Initially established in Ingram Street in 1877, the current building is one of the city’s iconic landmarks since it opened in 1911, and one of Europe’s largest public libraries with 1,213,000 volumes of stock.

The library puts together the best Robert Burns Collection in the world, located in The Burns Room. It contains over 5,000 items including copies of the 1786 Kilmarnock edition, printings of the 1787 Edinburgh edition, original manuscripts in the poet’s hand, including the only surviving letter written by Burns in Scots and the only copy in existence of ‘The Ordination’.

Pin  Best Robert Burns Collection in the world.

Visit the Centre for Robert Burns Studies

CENTRE FOR ROBERT BURNS STUDIES | 2018 Robert Burns Silver Winner

The Centre for Robert Burns Studies was established in July 2007 at the University of Glasgow. The aims of the centre are the development of research projects related to Burns around the world, teaching through publications, conferences or performance events, and the establishment of a centre in postgraduate studies.

The Centre’s current flagship project is ‘Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century’, the development of a multi-volume edition of The Works of Robert Burns for Oxford University Press.

Pin  ‘Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century’.

Pay your respects to the Robert Burns statue

ROBERT BURNS STATUE | 2018 Robert Burns Bronze Winner

George Square is named after King George III. It is the principal urban square in Glasgow and has been the acknowledged centre of the city’s public life for centuries.

The monument to Burns was erected by the sculptor George Edwin Ewing on a shilling subscription that raised £2,000. A procession was formed from Glasgow Green in 25 January 1877, and 30,000 people were said to have attended the unveiling of the bronze statue with a granite pedestal and bronze reliefs depicting scenes from Burns’s poems. Robert Burns’ image was based as usual on the portrait by Alexander Nasmyth.

Pin  30,000 people crowded into George Square in 1877 to watch the unveiling ceremony.

Have a look at the Argyle Street plaque

BLACK BULL HOTEL PLAQUE | 2018 Robert Burns Fourth Winner

The Black Bull Hotel, with 32 bedroom and situated in Argyle Street, was built in 1758, closed in 1849 to become a warehouse and was finally demolished in 1958.

This location is known in connection with Burns because in this place he encountered his brother William, spent a good night with his friend Richard Brown (who persuaded Burns to get his works published) and wrote his famous romantic love letters to Agnes McLehose.

Nowadays, at the corner of Virginia Street, there is a plaque on the wall commemorating his visits, although the word ‘Inn’ is incorrect because it was really an hotel. The reason of this confusion is that there was a Black Bull Inn on the other side of the road.

Pin  Robert Burns was hosted here.

Have a walk in the Old Burgher churchyard

KIRK LANE CEMETERY | 2018 Robert Burns Fifth Winner

Born in 1791 in Leith, Edinburgh, Elizabeth “Betty” Burns was the illegitimate but indisputably daughter of Robert Burns and Ann Park, a barmaid at the Globe Tavern in Dumfries. She was Burns’s “Anna of the gowden locks”.

She married Private John Thomson in 1808. The couple had eight children and Betty died 1873 in Pollokshaws at the age of 82. They are both buried in the close Old Burgher churchyard, also known as the Kirk Lane burial ground.

Pin  Elizabeth “Betty” Burns, daughter of Robert Burns, was buried here.

A great deal of genealogical research has been done to determine the descendants of Robert Burns.

With approximately 13 children, and at least 8 of them being known to be illegitimate, and mothered by a minimum of 4 women, more than 900 descendants have already been identified.


Robert Burns quote

Cool Facts

The Quote

I am very willing to admit that I have some poetical abilities, and as few – if any – writers, either moral or political, are intimately acquainted with the classes of mankind among whom I have chiefly mingled, I may have seen men and manners in a different phasis from what is common, which may assist originality of thought.

Robert Burns. Scottish poet and lyricist (1759-1796).


Greatest Glasgow Awards

Technical Criteria

Research led by SUZANNAH HENDERSON ׀
Date of the Research: 12-21 JANUARY 2018 ׀
Publication date: 25 JANUARY 2019
Review date: 25 JANUARY 2020

Scope of the research & essential inclusion criteria:
Related to Robert Burns.Open to the public.It exists today.
Premium+ criteria:

1 History.
2 Significance to Robert Burns’ life.
3 Key to understand Robert Burns’ work.

4 Interesting fact about Robert Burns.
5 Helps to understand Robert Burns.
6 Unique in its kind.

Premium Validation criteria:

7 Activities.
8 Information on the site about Robert Burns.
9 Ease for visitors to understand what is displayed.
10 Friendly to visitors.

11 Maintenance/ Current conditions.
12 Visit adaptation and activities for children.
13 Information in different languages.
14 Other feautures.

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