Founded in 2010 by a group of literary activists, including Boswell’s senior direct descendant, Margaret Boswell Eliott, the Trust is empowered under its charitable status to promote “heritage, literary arts and education”, and specifically to restore James Boswell’s Mausoleum in Auchinleck Churchyard and to create a visitor attraction in the adjoining seventeenth century Old Church. The Boswell Trust has successfully delivered the Boswell Book Festival since 2011, now held at Dumfries House, which is recognized as a major cultural event in Scotland.
The visitor attraction has been planned in two phases.
With funding from Leader and private trusts, the graveyard has been re-landscaped and enhanced with the Boswell Quill and a network of biographical trails telling the history of Auchinleck and its people.
Fundraising is underway to restore the Boswell Mausoleum and the Old Church. The aim of the Trust is to restore these spaces as a visitor experience about James Boswell and his world, to celebrate Boswell’s literary achievements, and to enrich the social and economic life of the village of Auchinleck by recognizing its status as one of the highpoints of Ayrshire’s – and Scotland’s – cultural tourist destinations.