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Mausoleum of Burns, Dumfries (1)

19th Century

A steel plate engraving from a painting by D O Hill RSA of the Mausoleum built in Robert Burns memory in St Michael's Churchyard, Dumfries.


In the years following his death, Robert Burns' admirers came to believe that his simple grave was an insufficient memorial to the poet. In 1813,  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.


Burns Mausoleum became a place of pilgrimage for visitors to Dumfries. This view of the mausoleum is engraved from a painting by D O Hill RSA and shows the mausoleum in its corner of the old churchyard with gravestones of both earlier and later dates in the foreground. Burns would have appreciated the young woman holding her baby and the small frollicking dog which enliven the scene.


This view of Burns Mausoleum was published in "The Land of Burns - A series of Landscapes and Portraits, Illustrative of the Life and Writings of the Scottish Poet". This was published in 1846 by Blackie and Son of Glasgow. At this time the development of steel plate engraving made it possible for images to be reproduced in much greater numbers than previous printing technology had allowed. Books such as this one, illustrated by engravings of works by eminent artists, became popular, although they were still expensive and beyond the pocket of most people.

width: 140 mm, length: 94 mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:0199.72 [Land of Burns, Volume II]
Digital Number:
Creation Date:
Dumfries & Galloway Council