Conservation work on Burns Cottage

Burns Cottage at Alloway
Burns Cottage at Alloway

Over £100,000 has been pledged in the past three months for the conservation work needed at the Burns Cottage in Alloway.

The National Trust for Scotland has announced the success of its fundraising appeal for the Burns Cottage, where Robert Burns was born in 1759. A total of £100,000 of pledges and donations increased on Monday, April 29, when a cheque for £1,000 was presented by the Alloway Burns Club.

The donations will allow the trust to move ahead with plans to use specialist skills and materials to repair the cottage’s gable wall, fill cracks along the walls and windows, re-thatch the roof and re-limewash the outer walls to weatherproof the building.

Volunteers and staff at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum are organising free open sessions on Thursday, May 9, in part as a thank-you to the local community for their support and also for the team to demonstrate to people how the elements affect historic structures and the kinds of techniques needed to deal with the consequences.

Caroline Smith, the National Trust for Scotland’s operations manager at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum said: “The level of support for the appeal has been overwhelming.

“I would particularly like to thank local groups like the Alloway Burns Club and the Friends of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum for their tenacity and generosity in raising the money they have donated.

“This means we can start planning our repairs at Burns Cottage in earnest and we expect to begin work in a few months.

“If you would like to know more about our plans, we have drop-in sessions at the cottage on May 9, between 10am and 12noon and 2-4pm and we would love to see you there.”

Ali MacLeod, the trust’s head of fundraising added: “Fundraising is the lifeblood of everything we do for the love and protection of Scotland’s heritage.

“It was inspiring to see such a reaction to our Burns Cottage appeal and understand that so many people from near and far want to do all they can to preserve the legacy of Robert Burns.

“Donations have come from as far afield as the USA and I would like to thank everyone for their generous and much-needed support. These donations are going to be put to good use.

“We are still welcoming donations towards the cost of the conservation work and for improvements to the presentation of the interior which will enhance the visitor experience.”

To find out more about supporting the National Trust for Scotland, go to www.nts.org.uk/dona