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Burns

Burnsiana

Ellisland, Poet's Farm on the River Nith

Period:
19th Century
Description:

A watercolour drawing by R Herd of the farm worked by Robert Burns, made in the year of the centenary of his birth.

 

Robert Burns took on the lease of Ellisland Farm from Patrick Miller of Dalswinton from Whitsunday 1788 for a rent of £50 per year. It was a small unimproved holding of 170 acres situated on the bank of the River Nith about 5 miles north of the town of Dumfries. Miller gave Burns £300 with which to build a farm house and enclose the fields.

 

In January 1790 Burns wrote to his brother Gilbert, "it is a ruinous affair ... let it go to hell". By this time his career in the Excise was becoming established, and he finally quit the farm at the end of 1791, selling off his farming stock by public roup, or auction.

 

The five bedroomed farmhouse which was built to Burns' instructions was designed by Thomas Boyd, a Dumfries architect. It is still as it was in Burns' time, although the steadings have been much remodelled. In 1929 the farm was presented to the nation by John Wilson Williamson. It is now a museum.

Materials/Media:
paper
Dimensions:
width: 277 mm, length: 181 mm
Source:
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:0199.146
Digital Number:
DMBN290n
Creation Date:
1859
Copyright:
Dumfries & Galloway Council