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Robert Burns

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Brow, near Dumfries (1)

Image Rights Holder:
Dumfries & Galloway Museums Service
Project:
:Future Museum
Material:
35mm colour transparency
What:
Robert Burns
Subject:
photograph, colour transparency
Who:
When:
20th Century
Where:
Background:
Burns, Robert “The Complete Letters of Robert Burns”, Ed. James A Mackay. Ayr: Alloway Publishing Limited, 1987; Burns, Robert “The Letters of Robert Burns”, 2 vols., Ed. J de Lancey Ferguson and G Ross Roy. Oxford: Clarendon, 1985; Crawford, Robert “The Bard – Robert Burns, a Biography”. London: Jonathan Cape, 2009; Hogg, Patrick Scott “Robert Burns – The Patriot Bard”. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 2008; Lindsay, Maurice “Robert Burns – The Man, his Work, the Legend”. New York and London: Robert Hale and St Martin’s Press, 1979; Lindsay, Maurice “The Burns Encyclopaedia”, 3rd edition. London and New York: Robert Hale and St Martin’s Press, 1980; Lockwood, David “Celebrate the Legend – Discover Robert Burns in Dumfries and Galloway”. Dumfries: Dumfries and Galloway Council, 2009; Mackay, James A “Burns-Lore of Dumfries and Galloway”. Ayr: Alloway Publishing Limited, 1988; Mackay, James “Burnsiana”. Ayr: Alloway Publishing Limited, 1988; Mackay, James “A Biography of Robert Burns”. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992; McDowall, William “History of the Burgh of Dumfries, with Notices of Nithsdale, Annandale and the Western Border”, 4th edition. Dumfries: T C Farries and Company Limited, 1986; McIntyre, Ian “Dirt & Deity – A Life of Robert Burns”. London: HarperCollins, 1995
Description:

This photograph was part of the first group of images of locations associated with Robert Burns to be made specifically for website use. It was taken using a 'conventional' SLR camera (not digital) on 35mm colour transparency film. The film was then sent to a photolab for processing; on its return the frames to be used were selected and these were sent back to the photolab for digitisation. They were written to a Photo CD Portfolio II disk as .pcd files, which was then passed to the Scottish Cultural Resources Access Network for uploading to their website. In all the images moved through the postal system five times.

 

This image is of Brow, near Dumfries. Brow Well is a spring containing the mineral chalybeate which was believed to have healing properties. Townspeople of Dumfries would go there to drink the water and for sea bathing in the Solway, which was also believed to improve the health.

 

In the last year of his life, as his health continued to deteriorate, Robert Burns was advised to take this cure by his doctor, William Maxwell. Burns drank the foul tasting water from the iron cup attached to the well and waded chest deep into the cold tidal waters.

 

It is little wonder that he died within days of this experience on 21 July 1796. The pathos of Burns' last days spent in hope of a recovery that was not to be lend this rather bleak place a special atmosphere. Burns admirers have visited here to honour his memory and a church service is held at the well on the anniversary of his death each year.