Show Navigation



Postcard of a sepia photograph of Burns Mausoleum, Dumfries

20th Century

A sepia photographic postcard of the mausoleum, showing the ceremony of laying wreaths on the poet's birthday.


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.


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.


This postcard illustrates the ceremony in 1904. It is an early example of the application of photo lithography in the production of postcards. The caption reads: "PROVOST GLOVER, DUMFRIES, & representatives of the BURNS' CLUB placing wreath on the Poets Tomb. January 25th. 1904."

width: 136 mm, length: 87 mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
Postcard, BUR / 251
Digital Number:
Creation Date:
12 April 1907 [postmark]
Dumfries & Galloway Council