Exhibition about street vandalised by Burns goes on show

An exhibition has opened celebrating the £1 million revamp of a street where Robert Burns caused controversy by etching a poem on a hotel window.

Scotland’s national bard almost lost his customs exciseman job after being inspired to write The Stirling Lines on a window pane at the Golden Lion in Stirling.

His inspiration in 1787 was outrage at the rundown state of nearby Stirling Castle.

The Golden Lion Hotel
Burn’s wrote of his outrage at the state of Stirling Castle here in 1787 (Stirling Council)

The poet wrote in a letter that he had been interrogated “like a child about my matters, and blamed and schooled for my inscription on a Stirling window”.

He returned two months later to smash the offending work with the butt of his riding crop.

53 to 59 King Street in 1896
A scene from the street in 1986 (Stirling Council)

Now a pop-up exhibition celebrating a conservation project to revive the street is giving people the chance to learn the history of the street.

The show, which runs at the city’s Stirling Arcade until September 25, includes archive photos.

It follows a £1 million revamp by the Stirling City Heritage Trust, in partnership with Stirling Council.

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