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Robert Burns

Statuary Group in Burns Mausoleum, Dumfries, 1896

19th Century

A monochrome photographic print of the statuary group showing Burns at the plough, taken in the year of the first centenary of the poet's death.


Robert Burns was originally buried in St Michael's Churchyard, Dumfries, in a simple grave, marked only by a plain stone slab. In 1803 when Dorothy and William Wordsworth visited Dumfries they had difficulty in even finding the grave. Burns' admirers came to believe that this was an insufficient memorial to the poet.


In 1813 his friend, John Syme formed a committee and launched an appeal to build a mausoleum in his memory. One of the subscribers was the Prince Regent, later George IV. After a public advertisement, over 50 designs were received and the plans of T F Hunt, a London architect were approved.


The statuary group which is the subject of this photograph was designed and worked by Peter Turnerelli. It depicts Burns' own conception of "Coila", representing the Ayrshire district of Kyle where he was born, throwing her inspiring mantle over the poet as he works at the plough.

length: 198 mm, width: 142 mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
Photograph, PEOPLE, Robert Burns / 18
Digital Number:
Creation Date:
Dumfries & Galloway Council