Famous Birthplaces

The NTS looks after some amazing properties and landscapes across Scotland, and therefore, it is unsurprising that we have some fascinating links to some Scottish icons. Here we take a look at a few of our favourite famous connections by exploring the homes of some famous scots.

Firstly, one of the most well known of our properties the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, or RBBM for short.

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Robert Burn’s Cottage

Here you have the chance to really immerse yourself in the history of Burns. From the cottage where Burns was born and raised; across the Brig o’ Doon, the setting for his work Tam o’ Shanter; through to the monument raised after his death. The visitor centre is great and home to lots of interesting artefacts, as well as some fun interactive activities for the young, and the young at heart. If you can definitely tag onto a walk down to the cottage as the guides are very knowledgeable and make sure you get a photo with the lovely mouse statue.

If you get the chance you can also stop by JM Barries Birthplace.

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JM Barries Writing Desk

This quaint cottage where Barrie was born in 1860 is now a museum dedicated to his life. As the ninth of ten children he longed to be a writer from a young age and his most famous creation, Peter Pan, has probably be read by most people. The house includes family heirlooms such as the silk christening robe used for all the Barrie children as well as artefacts from later in his life, including his original desk from his flat in London.

Nearer us in the north we have Hugh Millers Birthplace on the Black Isle in Cromarty.

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Hugh Millers Birthplace

Perhaps not as well known as some of the other men on our list, Hugh Miller was a self-taught folklorist, writer and geologist. His collection of some 6,000 fossils is held by National Museums Scotland with several on show at his birthplace cottage. It is a fascinating journey to discover more about this man who was a pioneering scientist in his day. His advise to ‘Make a right use of your eyes’ encourages everyone to stop and look around them at the beauty of the world we live in.

Finally we turn to Thomas Carlyle’s Birthplace in Ecclefechan.

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Carlyle’s Birthplace in Ecclefechan

Born in 1795 Carlyle was one of Scotland most influential writers and thinkers and though his house does not appear much from the outside, inside it holds a wealth of history. First opened to the public in 1881 the house has remained relatively unchanged, and was actually constructed by Carlyle’s own father and uncle who were both stonemasons. Interestingly when Carlyle died he declined the offer of a final resting place in Westminster Abbey, and was instead buried beside his parents in Ecclefechan.

We hope you enjoyed this taster of special homes the NTS looks after. As always please comment, share, like, re-blog and check out more sites at www.nts.org.uk

All the best, K & D

P.S. Here’s a picture of the gorgeous mouse at RBBM

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Isn’t he lovely?

 

 

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Robert Burns and Culloden

Since the 25th January is Burns Night we thought we’d do a little blog looking into the famous poet and his small connection with Culloden.

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Potrait of Robert Burns

Robert Burns travelled with his friend William Nicol from Edinburgh and travelled some 600 miles across Scotland on his ‘Highland Tour’. The trip stopped at sites of historical significance including Killiecrankie and Burns visited Culloden on 6th September 1787. He wrote little in his diary of his time in and around Inverness but his works suggest Culloden may have stayed in his mind.

His poem ‘The Lovely Lass O’ Inverness’ which is believed to have been written during the last three years of Burns’ life alludes to Culloden and there is also ‘The Highland Widows Lament’ which is said to be Burns’ version of a Gaelic lament about Culloden.

The Lovely Lass O’ Inverness

The lovely lass o’ Inverness,
Nae joy nor pleasure can she see;
For, e’en to morn she cries, alas!
And aye the saut tear blin’s her e’e.

Drumossie moor, Drumossie day-
A waefu’ day it was to me!
For there I lost my father dear,
My father dear, and brethren three.

Their winding-sheet the bluidy clay,
Their graves are growin’ green to see;
And by them lies the dearest lad
That ever blest a woman’s e’e!

Now wae to thee, thou cruel lord,
A bluidy man I trow thou be;
For mony a heart thou has made sair,
That ne’er did wrang to thine or thee!

Culloden, Inverness.
Culloden Battlefield

The Highland Widows Lament

Oh I am come to the low Countrie,
Ochon, Ochon, Ochrie!
Without a penny in my purse,
To buy a meal to me.

It was na sae in the Highland hills,
Ochon, Ochon, Ochrie!
Nae woman in the Country wide,
Sae happy was as me.

For then I had a score o’kye,
Ochon, Ochon, Ochrie!
Feeding on you hill sae high,
And giving milk to me.

And there I had three score o’yowes,
Ochon, Ochon, Ochrie!
Skipping on yon bonie knowes,
And casting woo’ to me.

I was the happiest of a’ the Clan,
Sair, sair, may I repine;
For Donald was the brawest man,
And Donald he was mine.

Till Charlie Stewart cam at last,
Sae far to set us free;
My Donald’s arm was wanted then,
For Scotland and for me.

Their waefu’ fate what need I tell,
Right to the wrang did yield;
My Donald and his Country fell,
Upon Culloden field.

Oh I am come to the low Countrie,
Ochon, Ochon, Ochrie!
Nae woman in the warld wide,
Sae wretched now as me.

We felt it only fitting to share these works and hopefully you enjoyed reading them. As always please like, tweet, comment and check out the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum for more information about the famous bard.

All the best, K & D