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Burns Cottage / Birthplace Museum, Murdoch's Lone, Alloway, Ayrshire

This cottage, quaint to our modern sensibilities, is where Burns was born. It sits right on the street and most probably did so at the time, bustling carriages and carts and workers passing down a muddy road. It is now in the hands of the National Trust for Scotland and forms the nucleus of several newer buildings, the latest of which is the museum.

It is not just the form and structure of the cottage that is interesting. The NTS has recreated something of the living conditions. It must have been smoky and smelly indoors with open fires and livestock sharing one end. Outside one finds a vegetable patch and peat drying.

This small window provides the natural light to one of the rooms. The simple crockery and tray left after an equally simple meal in a lifestyle of survival. Hardly the environment to inspire great writing. But it did and the eloquent words of Rabbie Burns about everyday challenges and aspirations have resonated across the globe.



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