Burns House Museum, Mauchline.
by Martin J. Galloway Editor.
It was a room in this wee hoose in 1788 that Robert Burns and his new wife Jean Armour began married life. That very room today forms part of the Burns House Museum in Mauchline. Jean gave birth to twin daughters in this house, sadly they died a few days later. The characters of Mauchline play a part in many of Burns's poems as you will know if you are a fan. Fair to say that much literary expression gave birth from Rabbies quill in this humble house.
The building is in superb condition, and we have Mr Charles Cowie a Glesca businessman to thank for that. Mr Cowie rescued the building from near demolition around 1915. He renovated the building and it was utilized by the elderly folks of the village. Mr Cowie also put aside enough floor space to create the beginnings of a museum. About 40 years later in 1958 the old folks were moved to larger more appropriate lodgings and once again the building required some badly needed attention.
It wasn't until 1969 that it re-opened to what it pretty much looks like today. Unfortunately on the day I was there the front door was locked even although it was supposed to be open. It would have been nice to get a photograph of the Burns Room. Locals tell me the interior is in pristine condition and the Burns Room has a beautiful four poster bed with powder blue drapes. A couple of Burns's manuscripts are here also, which is a good thing. The majority of Burns's work is at the Cottage in Alloway so it's nice that Mauchline has managed to maintain some of Rabbies work. Of particular note is one of the original Kilmarnock Edition poetry books.
The Museum also includes Dr John Mackenzie's house, a physician who was a great friend to Burns. It was through this connection with Dr Mackenzie that Robert Burns was introduced to many influential and wealthy folks in Edinburgh. At the end of the day these connections made no difference, Robert Burns died a poor and young man at the age of 37.
The posted opening times for the Museum are:- Tuesday - Saturday 11:00 am - 5:00 pm. Admission is free.
If I acquire any interior shots from friends I will post them here, in the meantime my apologies for the lack of visual representation. I am told there is a resident caretaker on the property, so I guess I was just unlucky in not being able to get in.