Flat Occupied by Robert Burns and his Family in Bank Street, Dumfries

A monochrome photographic print of the tenement in Bank Street looking up the street towards Irish Street and the High Street.   By the end of 1791 Robert Burns' career in the Excise became established,  he quit Ellisland Farm, selling off  his farming stock by public roup, or auction, and moved with his family to this tenement flat in Bank Street, Dumfries. At that time Bank Street was also known as the Wee Vennel or the Stinking Vennel.   The street outside had an open sewer running down it from the High Street to the River Nith. Their small flat was on the second floor and had only two rooms and a bed closet, "the only place he has in which to seclude himself for study" according to Robert Chambers.   Below was the office of Burns' Excise superior and friend, John Syme. In February 1792 he was promoted to the Dumfries Port Division with an increase in salary to £70 a year. This also allowed him more free time and the days in Bank Street were a period of prolific song writing for him.
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width: 210 mm, length: 157 mm
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Photograph, PEOPLE, Robert Burns / 6
Copyright :
Dumfries & Galloway Council
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