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Burns

Robert Burns

Brow Well, near Dumfries

Period:
20th Century
Description:

This photograph was part of the first group of images of locations associated with Robert Burns to be made specifically for website use. It was taken using a 'conventional' SLR camera (not digital) on 35mm colour transparency film. The film was then sent to a photolab for processing; on its return the frames to be used were selected and these were sent back to the photolab for digitisation. They were written to a Photo CD Portfolio II disk as .pcd files, which was then passed to the Scottish Cultural Resources Access Network for uploading to their website. In all the images moved through the postal system five times.

 

This is an image of  the well at Brow, near Dumfries. Brow Well is a spring containing the mineral chalybeate which was believed to have healing properties. Townspeople of Dumfries would go there to drink the water and for sea bathing in the Solway, which was also believed to improve the health.

 

In the last year of his life, as his health continued to deteriorate, Robert Burns was advised to take this cure by his doctor, William Maxwell. Burns drank the foul tasting water from the iron cup attached to the well and waded chest deep into the cold tidal waters.

 

It is little wonder that he died within days of this experience on 21 July 1796. The pathos of Burns' last days spent in hope of a recovery that was not to be lend this rather bleak place a special atmosphere. Burns admirers have visited here to honour his memory and a church service is held at the well on the anniversary of his death each year.

Materials/Media:
35mm colour transparency
Source:
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
CT35.99.68.8
Digital Number:
DMBN153n
Creation Date:
1999
Copyright:
Dumfries & Galloway Council