Portrait of Jean Armour Burns with Highland Mary Bible Given to Highland Mary “Clarinda” Bark Inscription Brow Well - Postcard Brow Well - Modern View Funeral Scene

Postcard of a colour tinted photograph of Brow Well, Dumfriesshire c 1905

"Brow Well, near Ruthwell, Dumfries, Burns used to sit under the thorn tree on the right". A coloured lithographic postcard

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.

• click here for SCRAN Resource