Celebrating Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns

  • Watch the full special episode of Border Life looking into the life of Robert Burns.

During his 37 years he created some of the world’s most enduring works of poetry and song.

We have many great writers in the south of Scotland but Robert Burns was internationally recognised.

Ellisland Farm was Robert Burns’ first Dumfriesshire home. It was a place where he would pen some of his most famous work.

Since 2020 the farm has been under the custodianship of a trust, dedicated to preserving the site and preserving the unique story of the bard.

Joan McCalpine, The Robert Burns Ellisland Trust said: “Robert Burns came to Ellisland actually from Edinburgh. His first book of poetry was published and he was a bit of a rock star really.

Robert Burns lived at Ellisland Farm Credit: Ellisland Farm and Museum

"He could have stayed in Edinburgh but he wanted to get back to his roots. He was offered the opportunity of building a new farm as a tenant farmer.

"He chose Ellisland because it was the most beautiful outlook and the most inspiring outlook. That is why it is known as the poet’s choice.

“The land here was very challenging and it was very dry. He wanted security for his family, a pension for his family.

“Jean Armour was his wife and his life partner and was incredibly loyal to him. Most people know he had a complicated love life. She had a beautiful voice and knew many songs and stories.

"The thing about Burns particularly when he moved to Ellisland he wasn’t just writing his own material he was collecting the songs and stories of Scotland that he felt were endangered. Jean was one of the those people who really had the knowledge of the culture in her head and he really valued that."

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