Poosie Nansie’s Tavern, Mauchline
Within its ancient walls the original kitchen remains unchanged with the 18th century, furniture and crockery still in situ. It also contains a clock made by ‘Clockie’ Brown, a well-known Mauchline Clockmaker and friend of Burns.
Behind the Inn, ‘The Jolly Beggars Howff’ held a motley crew of beggars, rogues and vagabonds – a scene witnessed by burns and his companions, James Smith and John Richmond. It was from the happening in this establishment that Burns drew his inspiration for The Jolly Beggars – A Cantata.
Beside Poosie Nansie’s is the thoroughfare know as Cowgate, once a Cattle Market enjoying a busy trade. This was the main road to Cumnock.
On the wall of the shop at the street corner, a plaque marks the place where Burns spent many happy hours in the Whitefoord Arms. Its legendary host, John Dove, must have witnessed many a meeting of the poet and his contemporaries. It was the scene of the “Court of Equity” (also known as “The Libel Summons”), written by Burns for private circulation among his friends and later included in the “Merry Muses of Caledonia“ collection.
Opposite Poosie Nansie’s once stood a row of houses. Behind them in the Churchyard was the green where the communion tent was erected. Burns once attended the Holy Fair here after which he wrote one of his best known Satires “The Holy Fair” which hastened the end of the event.