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Robert Burns

The Opening of Burns House, Dumfries

20th Century

A monochrome photographic print of the ceremony which opened Burns House to the public following its restoration in 1935.


Robert Burns came to live in this house in Mill Street, Dumfries in 1793. He died there three years later. His widow, Jean Armour Burns, continued to live in their house until her own death in 1834. The house was purchased in 1851 by their son, Colonel William Nicol Burns and throughout the 19th Century it became a place of pilgrimage for Burns enthusiasts from around the world.


In 1903  the house was let to the Town Council of Dumfries and the room in which the poet died was opened to the public as a small Robert Burns museum, although the remainder of the house was occupied by a caretaker.


In 1935 the house was fully restored and opened as a museum. It was at this time that the external render was removed and the sandstone exterior revealed. This photograph shows the opening ceremony which took place on the poet's birthday, 25 January 1935. It includes Jean Armour Burns Brown, his great granddaughter, who formally opened the house and Sir Henry Fildes MP.

length: 208 mm, width: 159 mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
Photograph, PEOPLE, Robert Burns / 15
Digital Number:
Creation Date:
Dumfries & Galloway Council