Here we intend to post any relevant items relating to Hugh MacDiarmid, Scottish literary and other arts activity, community events in and around Biggar and further afield.  Let us know of things you think we should publicise by submitting details of any news, events and happenings. Simply email us at

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Photograph of National Collective, James, Alan and Denham outside Brownsbank March 2014.

In March 2014 The National Collective made a film at the cottage featuring James Robertson and Alan Riach discussing MacDiarmid. You can watch this important record by entering ‘Ode To All Rebels’ in the search box on


Saltire Society:

Scottish Poetry Library:

Scottish Book Trust:


Saturday 19 September

This year’s Concert for Brownsbank will take place on Saturday 19 September at The Corn Exchange Biggar. An outstanding programme has been organised.

Students from Biggar High School will read Hugh MacDiarmid’s work as well as other Scottish poetry.

Alan Riach and James Robertson will present pieces from their own work.

Carolyn Scott and Andy Sim’s  film of James Robertson shot at the cottage remembering his time  as writer-in-residence at Brownsbank 1992-1994 will be shown.

In the second half MacDiarmid’s Brownsbank is delighted to announce that the quartet THE GALLOWAY AGREEMENT will perform. The quartet is a collaboration featuring Wendy Stewart (clarsach, vocals),  Ruth Morris (alto and tenor nylkelharpa), Gavin Marwick (fiddle and Stuart Macpherson (double bass). The band is based in Dumfries and Galloway and originally came together on Wendy’s latest album Folds in the Field.  Their current repertoire is a mixture of original compositions and favourite tunes from Scotland as well as other European Traditions.Their standard of musicality is truly exceptional and we guarantee a listening experience to be long remembered.


As part of this year’s Biggar Little Festival MacDiarmid’s Brownsbank will be presenting the touring LANDMARKS exhibition. This will feature the work of the painters Ruth Nicol and Sandy Moffat along with the visually realised work of the poet Alan Riach. The exhibition will be at the Biggar and Upper Clydesdale Museum in Biggar who are generously supporting  some of the costs in kind and will be open throughout October.

Core to what will be shown is a strong theme relating to Hugh MacDiarmid and Brownsbank Cottage. The exhibition has already run in Glasgow and Saint Andrews to a very warm and complimentary reception. All three of the artists featured enjoy a major profile in contemporary Scottish cultural life and the combination of their talents with the subject of Hugh MacDiarmid promises a significant artistic event.

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A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle

 ‘And let the lesson be - to be yersel’s,
Ye needna fash gin it’s to be ocht else.

To be yersel’s - and to mak’ that worth bein’,

 Nae harder job to mortals has been gi’en.’