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Robert Burns

Wreath Laying Ceremony at Burns Mausoleum, 1910

20th Century

"Dumfries Pays Her Tribute Once More to Scotia's Bard", a monochrome photographic print of dignitaries assembled on 25th January 1910, the date of the poet's birthday.


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. The mausoleum was completed in September 1817.


The laying of wreaths at the mausoleum on the poet's birthday was instigated by Dumfries Burns Club. This ceremony was observed throughout the 19th century and formed part of the celebrations of the first and second centenary of his birth. It is still an important element of the rituals of Burns' birthday today.

width: 207 mm, length: 150 mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
Photograph, PEOPLE, Robert Burns / 28
Digital Number:
Creation Date:
Dumfries & Galloway Council