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The small village of Dalrymple has not one, but two associations with Burns. It played a part in his education but, perhaps even more poignant, it was a Dalrymple lass that Burns first had feelings of love for.

Burns and his brother Gilbert went to school in Dalrymple for a period. They used to take week about attending school or working the fields back home. Burns made many good connections as part of this educational phase of life.

Burns first real love Nelly Kilpatrick was from Dalrymple. Nelly was the blacksmith's daughter from Perclewen Mill and she worked the fields with Burns during harvest time. To him she was a bonie sweet sonsie lass.


Burns was entranced by those who could sing well and Nelly certainly could. She sang as they worked and inspired Burns so much that each year at harvest time was when he always felt most alive, remembering those happy days.

Today The Kirkton Inn is a fine place for food and drink and as you enter you will find that they pay tribute to both Nelly and Burns. With Burns beloved River Doon flowing near and a new school full of children, his memory is alive.


Dalrymple is one of the places you can visit the banks and braes of the River Doon. Sit a while and remember Burns first love ... 

'Tis this in Nelly pleases me
'Tis this enchants my soul
For absolutely in my breast
She reigns without control ...

Handsome Nell




The Kirkton Inn
Interior Burns and Nelly Plaque



Perclewan Mill
Now developed into houses

Site of Burns School


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