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Rabbie Burns Monument Traditional Cache

Hidden : 02/24/2022
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Rabbie Burns Monument

The Burns monument is on Regent Road at the Southerly foot of Calton Hill looking out to Arthur's seat. The foundation stone of the Edinburgh Burns Monument was laid in 1831. It was designed by Thomas Hamilton, who was also responsible for the Royal High School just across the road.The building originally housed a white marble statue of the poet - that's now in the Scottish National Gallery Edinburgh and District Burns Clubs Association still meet here regularly.The Burns Monument is the setting for Emeka Ogboh’s audio installation Song of the Union, 

Historical Background

The idea to erect a monument to Burns was first proposed by Mr. John Forbes Mitchell in Bombay in 1812 and expatriates raised a subscription. However the idea was not taken up at home until 1819, when a meeting at the Free Mason's Tavern in London, noblemen and gentlemen - admirers of the Bard - formed a committee under the chairmanship of the Duke of Atholl.

Thomas Hamilton, the architect was appointed as he had already designed the Burns Monument at Alloway in 1820 and the nearby Royal High School, Edinburgh. He did not charge for the design work.

The temple consists of a central drum structure called a 'cella', surrounded by twelve columns known as a 'peristyle'. The monument, built in Ravelston sandstone, is capped with a domed roof, with intricate stone carvings and winged lion sculptures.

The monument overlooks the Canongate graveyard, which is the final resting place of the poet's close friend, Mrs Agnes MacLehose, referred to by Burns in his letters and poems as 'Clarinda'.

The interior decoration and surrounding planting of laurels, hollies and Ayrshire roses were also donated by Mr. Robert Buchan, house painter and Mr. Eagle Henderson, nurseryman. The foundation stone of the monument was laid on the 8th of September 1831. The Subscribers Committee looked after the monument until 1839, when it was handed over to the current owner, the City of Edinburgh.

It was suggested at the time of the handover that the internal statue (designed by John Flaxman R.A. in 1824) should be moved as soot from the gasworks below was affecting the marble.

Restoration Work

A fundraising appeal was launched for the restoration of monuments on Calton Hill in 2008, attracting donations from private individuals, business and charitable trusts topping £200,000. Although repairs had been carried out in the past, the monument's exposed position meant that a comprehensive £300,000 restoration programme was needed, including the replacement of some of the ornate stone carvings and the removal of asphalt from the roof.

A ceremony marking the opening of the restored monument was held on 6 September 2009.

Rabbie Burns Scotands National poet

Wis born 25th December 1759 in Alloway, Ayrshire. n deid 21st July 1796 (aged 37 ) Dumfries.

       Burns Nicht, is celebrated on Burns's birthday, 25 January, with Burns Suppers around the world,  The first Burns supper in The Mother Club in Greenock was held on what was thought to be his birthday on 29 January 1802; in 1803 it was discovered from the Ayr parish records that the correct date was 25 January 1759.                                                                                                                                                                         The format of Burns suppers has changed little since. The basic format starts with a general welcome and announcements, followed with the Selkirk Grace. After the grace comes the piping and cutting of the Haggis, when Burns's famous "Adrress tae a Haggis is read and the haggis is cut open. The event usually allows for people to start eating just after the haggis is presented. At the end of the meal, a series of toasts, often including a 'Toast to the Lassies', and replies are made. This is when the toast to "the immortal memory", an overview of Burns's life and work, is given. The event usually concludes with the singing of "Auld Lang Syne".                                                                                                                          He wis born in a hoose that his father hae built, now the Burns Cottage Museum, where he lived until 1766, when he wis seven years old. William Burnes sold the hoose and took the tenancy of the Mount Oliphant farm. Here Burns grew up in poverty and hardship, and the severe manual labour of the farm left its traces in a premature stoop and a weakened constitution. He had little regular schooling and got maist of his education frae his father, who taught his children reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, and history. He was also taught by John Murdoch and taught Latin, French, and mathematics to Rabbie from 1765 to 1768 until Murdoch left the parish. After a few years of home education, Burns was sent to Dalrymple Parish School in mid-1772 before returning at harvest time to full-time farm labouring until 1773, when he was sent to lodge with Murdoch for three weeks to study grammar, French, and Latin.

By the age of 15, Burns was the principal labourer at Mount Oliphant. During the harvest of 1774, he was assisted by Nelly Kilpatrick who inspired his first attempt at poetry, "O, Once I lov'ed A Bonnie Lass In 1775, he was sent to finish his education with a tutor at Kirkoswald, where he met Peggy Thompson to whom he wrote two songs, "Now Westlin' Winds" and "I Dream'd I Lay".                                                                             His first child,Elizabeth " Beth Burns " (1785–1817), was born to his mother's servant,Elizabeth Paton, while he was embarking on a relationship with Jean Armour who became pregnant with twins in March 1786. Burns signed a paper attesting his marriage to Jean, but her father "was in the greatest distress, and fainted away". To avoid disgrace, her parents sent her to live with her uncle in. Although Armour's father initially forbade it, they were married in 1788.[Armour bore him nine children, three of whom survived infancy. He had a total of 12 children from 4 wimen

Here's a wee taste of some of his most famous work. 


To a Mouse focusses on the narrator's thoughts and feelings after he accidentally breaks apart a mouse's nest with his plough. Through this masterful poem, Burns expertly moves the reader from empathising with the little animal to pondering man's relationship with the natural world and even the future of humanity.

The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men
Gang aft agley,
An'lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!


Address to a Haggis is Burns' humorous ode to the humble haggis. Presenting haggis as a symbolic part of Scottish culture, Burns' poem led the way for haggis becoming not only a popular meal but Scotland's national dish.

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the pudding-race


Auld Lang Syne is one of the most popular songs in the English language. Sung across the globe at the stroke of midnight on Hogmanay (New Year's Eve) this touching song encourages the listener to put the previous year behind them and look forward to the new year ahead.

For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, For auld lang syne.


Burns' epic poem Tam o' Shanter tells the tale of a man who stayed out too late drinking and witnessed unsettling visions on his way home, like the witches' dance described below. It is a good example of Burns' diversity as a writer as his sense of humour is clear in the poem.

Warlocks and witches in a dance:
Nae cotillon, brent new frae France,
But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels,
Put life and mettle in their heels

A RED, RED ROSE (1794)

The simple yet timeless lyrics of A Red, Red Rose describes a love that does not lessen with the passage of time.

O my Luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve's like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

Bob Dylan described A Red, Red Rose as the lyric or verse that has had the greatest impact on his life.


Is there for Honest Poverty is one of the places where Burns expresses his fierce egalitarianism most strongly, stating that good sense and an independent mind are worth far more than titles and finery.

Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
A Man's a Man for a' that





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