Monument to Robert Burns Restored with American Support
The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA was delighted to celebrate the rededication of the Burns Monument at a ceremony held in Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland, on the 223rd anniversary of the poet’s death.
A major restoration and repair initiative on the monument was completed by Scotland’s largest conservation charity, the National Trust for Scotland, earlier this year with financial support from its American friends group. The international nature of this effort echoes the original contributions made by Burns lovers from around the world for the construction of the Grecian-style monument in 1823.
Designed by Edinburgh architect Thomas Hamilton, Jr, the 70-foot high classical temple was commissioned by the Burns Monument Trust, a group of individuals in Alloway who wanted to build a suitable memorial to the life and works of Robert Burns in his birthplace village.
Work on the monument over the last year has included stone restoration, leadwork, drainage repairs, and a new cupola. Expert conservators spent 14,000 hours working on the restoration.
Particular attention was given to the mortar joints, where historically accurate grouting was used to make the structure watertight and protect it for generations to come. Approximately 2,400 gallons of the grout went in to filling the voids in the monument and required a specialist mortar consultant working with the Trust’s stonemasonry team and using bespoke equipment developed for the project.
Monitoring equipment has been installed, with humidity and temperature sensors to assess air quality and building performance. These will allow the Trust to monitor the moisture within the building over the coming years.
I am thrilled that Americans who love Burns – including many members of The Burns Society of the City of New York – were able to come together to help restore this impressive structure. We look forward to enjoying this monument to Burns’ genius for generations to come.
Kirstin Bridier, executive director of The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA
The project’s completion was celebrated with a procession from the humble thatched cottage where Robert Burns was born in 1759 to the newly-restored monument.