Robert Burns’ historic family cottage attacked by vandals

Burns Cottage, Alloway. Copyright John McLeish CC
Burns Cottage, Alloway. Copyright John McLeish CC
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THE historic family cottage in Alloway where Robert Burns was born has been hit by vandals in an attack described as ‘sickening’.

Vandals targeted the thatched roof of the historic property a week ago on Saturday. Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns was born in the cottage in 1759.

The incident was reported to police on Tuesday by Caroline Smith, operations manager at the Alloway landmark, who confirmed that the vandals had not been picked up by CCTV cameras

Scores of special reeds which make up the 18th century cottage’s watertight roof were ripped out with considerable force. Caroline said: “This has sickened us that people, presumably kids, could do such a thing.

“You would think people would be proud of their heritage and leave it alone.

“Sometimes we do go through wee spells of vandalism, but we have not had anything for a number of years.”

READ MORE: Prison appeal win for man who damaged Burns Cottage

Ayr MSP John Scott, who was in the vicinity picking up litter, captured images of the aftermath showing dozens of reeds strewn across the pavement in front of the cottage.

Mr Scott said: “I am dumbfounded anyone could do this.

“I came across a very sad sight indeed that our icon has been damaged.

“It was about 8am and fortunately a council sweeper was there early to clear up before tourists arrived.”

Subsequent checks on the state of the roof have confirmed that it is still watertight despite the attack.

The Burns family cottage was built by Robert’s father William in 1757 and is maintained by the National Trust for Scotland.

In 2009 a man who vandalised Burns Cottage, in a drunken prank, on the 250th anniversary of the Bard’s birth, narrowly avoided a jail sentence after winning an appeal.