Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
South Ayrshire
Planning Authority
South Ayrshire
NS 33474 18591
233474, 618591


1757, extended 1808, with later alterations. Single storey, 7-bay, near rectangular-plan (slightly curved) thatched cottage. Clay-bonded walls, harled and whitewashed.

Southeast (entrance, Alloway) elevation: square-headed timber entrances to 2nd, 5th and 6th bays; square-headed window openings to remaining bays with timber shutters, with exception of narrow opening to outer right.

Northwest (rear) elevation: 5-bay. Timber door to penultimate bay to left; flanking single arrowslit openings; single window to penultimate bay to right; small square opening to outer right.

Southwest (side) elevation: recessed timber entrance door to outer right of gabled elevation.

Northeast (side) elevation: narrow central slit opening to gabled elevation. Timber sash and case windows; timber shutters to Alloway. Reed-roofing; deep coping; gablehead and ridge coped stacks.

Interior: reconstruction of original uses. Barn to north, used for threshing and storage. Adjacent byre, used as living space for animals, cattle, pony and sometimes sheep and goats; also used by hens and cats which had free-run of cottage. Adjacent North Room - some doubt concerning the use of this room - probably small byre, converted to combined store/milkhouse with additional sleeping space after William Burnes extended cottage. Kitchen stands to south; parts of boxbed and perhaps dresser shelves and doors, original. Stone floors and fireplaces.

Boundary Wall: stone walling to northwest of cottage.

Statement of Special Interest

The birthplace of Robert Burns (1759-1796), Ayrshire s foremost poet and satirist. The south section of the cottage, the kitchen and a small byre were built by William Burnes before his marriage, and the present byre and barn after this occasion. Subsequently an alehouse, the building remained so until 1880 when it was acquired and restored by the Burns Monument Trustees. Copies of prints held at the National Monuments Record of Scotland show the cottage prior to its 1808 extension.

Description updated in 2017.



J Thomson's ATLAS OF SCOTLAND: AYRSHIRE, 1828 (evident); THE NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF SCOTLAND (1845), p29; FH Groome ORDNANCE GAZETTEER OF SCOTLAND, Vol 1 (1892), p44; THE THIRD STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF SCOTLAND: AYRSHIRE (1951), p534; JR Hume VERNACULAR BUILDING IN AYRSHIRE: AN INTRODUCTION (Ayrshire Monograph, 1988), p6; John Strawhorn and Ken Andrew DISCOVERING AYRSHIRE (1988), p108; Rob Close AYRSHIRE AND ARRAN (1992), p155; NMRS Photographic Archive.

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 26/03/2019 02:00