Souter Johnnie's Cottage

The Bachelors' Club

A Short History of Robert Burns

Death and Doctor Hornbook

Tam O'Shanter

John Barleycorn

Kirk Alloway

On the late Captain Grose’s Peregrinations

'The Antiquities of Scotland' by Captain Grose

I'm Captain Francis Grose - Click me to see my engravings and comments about this site!

               Kirk Alloway

                             Engraving of Alloway Church 1838 - artist is Bartlett, engraver is Willmore (1.1Mb)

Kirk Alloway still remains very much as Burns knew it. The kirk, which dates to the 16th century, has the date 1516 over a door lintel on the south side. It was built probably on the site of a much older church.

Robert Burns father, mother, and sister are buried here.

On the back of his mother and father's gravestone Robert had the following poem written:


O ye whose cheek the tear of pity stains,

Draw near with pious reverence and attend,

Here lie the loving husband's dear remains,

The tender father and the generous friend:

The pitying heart that felt for human woe!

The dauntless heart that fear'd no human pride!

The friend of man, to vice alone a foe,

"For e'en his failings lean'd to virtue's side."





In the 18th and 19th centuries there were insufficient corpses for the teaching of anatomy in medical schools since, by law, only the corpses of convicted criminals could be used. As a result grave-robbing was rife with 'resurrectionists' being paid good money to dig up freshly buried bodies and deliver them to the medical schools. Different methods were employed to try and thwart the grave-robbers including metal locked coffins and metal grills. Inside the Kirk are examples of the grave security systems called 'mortsafes' or 'watch boxes'. They were used in Scotland during the 18th century and were the most common method for the well off. This was an iron grid or cage either placed over the coffin or set in mortar above ground to cover the whole area of the grave. Those who couldn't afford a mortsafe sometimes used communal mortsafes or placed huge coffin-shaped pieces of stone or metal on new graves (called jankers).


Where is Alloway Kirk?




Notice: Undefined index: manage in C:\xampp\htdocs\ntsayrshire\HistInt-NTSAllowayKirk.html on line 149