This drawing shows the ruins of Alloway Kirk, the setting for Burns’s famous tale ‘Tam O’Shanter’, and where Tam saw the witches dancing before they gave chase to him. Burns was born in a cottage close to the Kirk on 25 January 1759. Alloway Kirk was last used as a place of worship in 1756 and by the time that Burns had penned his famous poem in 1790, the building had become a ruin. The roof had fallen in and crows nested in the stonework. Burns’s father and his sister Isabella Burns Begg are buried in the kirkyard..