St. Michael’s is world famous thanks to its association with the poet Robert Burns, a regular worshipper at St. Michael’s in the latter years of his life. Visitors come to visit his Mausoleum, to learn about our national poet and to see where he sat with his wife while worshipping here. Unfortunately , it was said that he could not abide the Minister of the day, so he often attended the Burgher Kirk in Loreburn Street. His widow, Jean Armour, continued to worship in St. Michael’s for 38 years after his death in 1796. The pew where Rabbie sat was removed when new seating was installed, and his old pew was placed in the local Museum. There is a beautiful brass plaque attached to one of the ten pillars within the Church, which marks the site of the original pew.
On the southeast corner of the churchyard stands the elaborate Burns Mausoleum, erected by public subscription 18 years after his death. Burns’ remains were taken from their original grave in the opposite corner of the cemetery and reinterred with great ceremony in the Mausoleum. A piece of sculpture of Turnerelli, representing the Genius of Poetry, casts her mantle over Burns. The mantle is placed over his grave, the gravestone from his original resting place lies below.
The most recent glass windows of Robert Burns and Jean Armour in the world, unveiled by the Duke of Buccleuch on the 25th of January 2009, the 250th anniversary of the birth of the Bard.