Auld Kirk Alloway
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AULD KIRK ALLOWAY AYRSHIRE

Auld Kirk Alloway, Ayrshire

Auld Kirk, Alloway.

There's definitely something eerie about this place. Even on a bright sunny May afternoon the light barely penetrates the dense canopy of trees overhead. The Kirk here was built in Medieval times and it is fair to say that Robert Burns as a wee boy would have run around the gravestones here. Nothing much has changed, the trees have grown taller and the roof of the Kirk is now gone. It's an interesting feeling to be standing in front of a Kirk that saw nothing but horse and cart. Built in 1516, 300 years before Henry Ford invented the motor car and 400 years before Penicillin was invented. Mary 1st, Queen of England (Bloody Mary) was just being sworn into power by the time the stone masons were finishing off this Kirk.

It was Robert Burns who immortalized the Auld Kirk with his potent yet humourous poem "Tam O' Shanter". Tam whilst returning from Ayr, rather inebriated after a night of heavy drinking, passes the front of the Auld Kirk. Riding his old tired mare named Meg they stumble across a Witches dance. As the Witches give chase Tam gallops old Meg down the road and over the humped stone Brig O' Doon.

13th Century Brig O Doon on KlickThis.com
Photo: 13th Century Brig O' Doon. Click to enlarge.

The Auld Kirk is also the resting place of Robert Burns's father William Burns. 13th February 1784. The gravestone is inscribed with both his Mother and Fathers names, although Agnes Brown was buried in Bolton cemetery West Lothian.

Grave of William Burns, father of poet Robert Burns.

Inscriptions Left:

Sacred to the memory of William Burns farmer in Lochlea, who died 13th Feb 1784 in the 63rd year of his age. And of Agnes Brown his spouse, who died on the 14th Jan 1820, in the 88th year of her age. She was interred in the Bolton Church yard in West Lothian.

Inscription Right:

O YE, whose cheek the tear of pity stains, Draw near with pious reverance and attend. Here lie the loving husband's dear remains. The tender father and the generous friend: The pitying heart that felt for human wo! The dauntless heart that fear'd no human pride! The friend of man, to vice alone a foe, "For ev'n his failings lean'd to virtue's side."

Photo: Shows front and rear inscriptions on gravestone of Robert Burns' Father. Auld Kirk Alloway Ayrshire.
Agnes Brown, Robert's Mother is mentioned on the stone but was actually buried in Bolton West Lothian.
Click each stone to view larger.

It is certainly one of the oldest surviving Kirk grounds in Ayrshire, and is yet another piece in the life of Robert Burns.

 

 

Martin J. Galloway Editor.
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Multimap location of Alloway, Ayrshire Scotland. Click for more information about Robert Burns. Click to see more photographs from Alloway. Click to enlarge. Click to enlarge. Click to enlarge.