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Support Us

Robert Burns Ellisland Trust, established in 2020 (taking over from another trust set up in 1923), cares for Ellisland, farmed by Robert Burns between 1788 and 1791, and a place which inspired him to write some of his most famous poems.  We are an independent charity and are entrusted with the care of Ellisland for the benefit of the nation.  We champion the incredible history of Ellisland and the heritage of Robert Burns through our public programmes, collections, site, house and landscape.

About Robert Burns Ellisland Trust

Our mission is to protect, promote, and enrich the historic and natural environment at Ellisland, to aid understanding and appreciation of the poet’s life and work, and to improve the health and wellbeing of all. We are a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation who rely on the goodwill and generosity of people around the world to conserve and cherish Ellisland.

The task of preserving and interpreting this important part of Scottish heritage for present and future generations inevitably comes at a cost.  As well as maintaining the site, we are currently reviewing how we develop the site sustainably to enhance the visitor experience and secure the future of Ellisland long term.

There are various ways you can help: make a donation, become a member, or join as a volunteer. We also welcome legacies.


Make a Donation

Robert Burns Ellisland Trust does not receive any public funding and relies on donations to survive. Our Just Giving page can be located via this link, https://www.justgiving.com/robertburnsellislandtrust.

Become a Member

For just £15 a year you can become a Friend of Ellisland Farm and join a growing group of supporters who enjoy their connection to Robert Burns’ home.  Friends gain free entry to the museum and exclusive information on events and special offers.  Join here

If you’re a member of a Burns Club your Club could support Ellisland by becoming a member of our 1788 Circle.

The following Burns Clubs have joined the 1788 Circle:

The Hamilton Burns Club

Coldstream Burns Club

Or, our top tier of membership is the Glencairn Circle.


Leave a Legacy

By leaving the Trust a legacy to support Ellisland, you will follow in the footsteps of John Wilson who bought the farm in 1921 to save it for the nation.  As little as 5% of your estate can make a real difference to us without preventing you from providing for your family or other loved ones.

Your donation will either be taken off the value of your estate before Inheritance Tax is calculated, or reduce your Inheritance Tax rate, if more than 10% of your estate is left to charity – meaning that the value of your legacy to the Trust is maximised, whilst reducing the tax burden of your estate.

You can either draw up a new will, or create a codicil to add to your existing will.  When speaking to your legal adviser please let them know that you would like your legacy to be left to Robert Burns Ellisland Trust (Scottish Charity SCO49973) Holywood Road, Auldgirth, Dumfries, DG2 0RP.

If you would like to discuss your legacy in confidence please contact us.

Volunteering Opportunities

The Trust is seeking motivated, friendly and energetic volunteers with a passion for the life and works of Robert Burns to help us reopen the site to the public, maintain the grounds and promote the Ellisland offering to the local, national and international community.  We have a number of volunteering opportunities available for a range of possible interests and time commitments and would love to hear more from interested individuals or groups.  At present our current volunteering opportunities are:

Volunteers are directly involved in the Trust’s efforts to conserve the site and grounds of Ellisland, as well as telling its story. Volunteering at Ellisland will allow participants to work closely with the Project Officer/ Volunteer Coordinator, Trustees and visiting experts to preserve the grounds and artefacts at Ellisland.   They will also be contributing to the development of the site as a leading centre for the advancement of Burns’ legacy and as an asset to the local community.

In return for their time and dedication, Ellisland hopes to create a rich and thriving community for volunteers.  Volunteers will receive:

For more information please download our information pack or email info@ellislandfarm.co.uk.

Funding Partners

Robert Burns Ellisland Trust is deeply grateful to Lottery Players and the support of the Heritage Fund in a Resilient Heritage project (2019-20), and for emergency aid during the Covid-19 pandemic (2020-21).

The Trust is also thankful for the advice and financial support of Museums Galleries Scotland, particularly in the purchase of digital equipment (2020), and through the Recovery & Resilience Fund (2020-21) for a business model review, volunteer recruitment and development, and fundraising. In 2021 the Trust was grateful to receive another £10,000 from the MGS Small Grants Fund in November 2021 for our Safeguarding Ellisland project, to support audience and membership development.

We are very grateful also to The Holywood Trust for their generous support for volunteering at Ellisland.

Architectural Heritage Fund (William Grant Foundation)
We are delighted to receive a £10,000 grant from the AHF Scotland in October 2021, made possible by the William Grant Foundation. This money will support emergency repairs to our historic buildings in the first stage of a project to adapt them for the future.

We were delighted to receive money from the Nithsdale Area committee in December 2021. This will go towards improving the outdoor space with picnic tables and a digital project to strengthen our online presence and buy much needed computers and equipment to enable contactless payment.


Burns Poetry

Painting of Ellisland Farm


Burns experienced his most creative and fruitful years here at Ellisland. He found great poetic inspiration in the beauty of the surrounding countryside, the various people he met and the events he witnessed whilst living here.


Burns Attractions

Ellisland Museum & Farm is conveniently situated on the road between Robert Burns' birthplace in Alloway and his final resting place at St Michael's Cemetery in Dumfries.

Burns Attractions


There is so much to see at Ellisland Museum & Farm, so please allow at least an hour for a short visit and two to three hours for a full visit. We're a short, 5 mile drive from the centre of nearby Dumfries, just off the A76.