Robert Burns: Hand to the Plough

Friday 6 July 2018 to Saturday 25 August 2018
The Braid, Ballymena

Free admission


The exhibition looks at the impact and legacy of Robert Burns on literary life in the mid-Antrim area. 

Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns, affectionately known as Scotland’s National Poet, was primarily a songwriter and collector, writing a body of over 400 songs.  The influence of his legacy is felt particularly in Ulster, where his work and life in Ayrshire, Lowland Scotland, bore strong comparisons to life in Ulster during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  To date, the connection between Belfast and Burns has been a central focus of this story.  However, it is clear this affinity with the poet was also evident in the Mid Antrim area, including Antrim, Ballymena, Ballyclare, Doagh, Larne and Ballycarry.  Shaped by the migration of Lowland Scots into Ulster during the Plantation period,  local rural communities espoused deep cultural, religious and linguistic links with Scotland voiced by a distinctive rural poets known collectively as the rhyming weavers.

‘Robert Burns: Hand to the Plough’ is a touring exhibition by the Mid-Antrim Heritage Partnership (Mid and East Antrim with Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Councils) to mark the European Year of Culture Heritage 2018 in association with The Linen Hall Library, Belfast and the Ulster University.  Mid-Antrim Museum is the opening venue.  For further details please contact Jayne Clarke, Museum & Heritage Manager, Mid and East Antrim Museum & Heritage Service:


Image © James Hughes

Robert Burns: Hand to the Plough