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Burns Federation No  458

She was married to a Mr Caird, and at that time  lived at  ‘Bardspark’. Mrs Caird said that around the time of Burns’s tour of the North of Scotland (1787), ‘Denside of Malley’ had been combined with another croft, and a new house built which was then called ‘Bardspark’. This would lend some support to ‘Denside’  referring to ‘Denside of Malley’, which would be consistent with Robert Burnes being  buried at Glenbervie or Dunnottar, or possibly at the old cemetery at Fetteresso in Kirktown, but nobody knows for sure.




Leave Glenbervie cemetery and  turn left up and over what is called Knockhill. This would have been the road which Burns’s father took when he left Clochnahill in 1748 to seek better fortune elsewhere (at that time the road was on the West side of Clochnahill). His father accompanied him to the top of the hill where they could look back and see Clochnahill  - and that is where Rabbie’s father and his grandfather parted.  William Burnes went on to Edinburgh where he worked for two years landscaping the gardens which we  now know as the Meadows, before moving to Ayrshire in 1750, where he held several gardening posts before building the now famous biggin in Alloway and fathering Scotland’s National Bard.

From the top of Knock Hill, looking down amongst the trees to your left, one can see Monboddo House, the home of Lord Monboddo whose daughter Elizabeth, was immortalised by Burns in his “Elegy To Miss Burnett of Monboddo” He is said to have visited the house  during his tour of the North.




Our tour takes us through Auchenblae, where, in passing, it is worth noting on the right, the ruins of the old St Palladius Church, and the nearby Fordoun Parish Church, near the entrance to which is a round granite pillar erected in 1850  to the memory of George Wishart who was burned at the Stake in St Andrews in 1546, for his “heretic” religious beliefs, watched over by Cardinal Beaton. The spot in St Andrews can be seen to this day in the street  known as the Scores, where granite setts are embedded  in the  road to form the initials “G.W.” George Wishart was born at nearby Mains of Pittarraw Farm, or estate, where part of the original house wall remains in the present garden.


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