Home to the renowned novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott, Abbotsford offers an insight into his interesting and fluctuating life. Most famous for The Lady of the Lake, Waverley and Rob Roy, this house was built on his literary career.
This was also where he stayed when he became ill whilst trying at the same time to help deal with his publishers and business partner’s debts.
Bought in 1811 as a farm and farmhouse, Scott went on to redesign and rebuild the house into an eclectic, comfortable home. Abbotsford is a wonderful example of Scottish architecture of the time, which was partially due to the way that Scott salvaged architectural bits and pieces from derelict houses and took casts of architectural details from other houses. The house was more or less completed in 1824 and its name changed from ‘Cartleyhole’ to Abbotsford in tribute to the Monks of Melrose.
Abbotsford House stayed within Scott’s family until 2007 when Dame Jean Maxwell- Scott died. The Abbotsford Trust was then set up to help support and preserve the house. With the family living in the Hope Scott Wing, the most notable rooms have been open to the public since 1833, just after Scott’s death. Now you can visit an exhibition on Walter Scott’s life and legacy. Explore the collections of artworks, the original furniture and displays of armor and weapons. Also, don’t forget to take a peek at the grand library with over 9000 rare books.
The gardens are a credit to Sir Walter Scott who designed them in the style of a Regency garden. Offering an intricate, compact and mix of colorful and scented flowers, Scott created picturesque and peaceful gardens. The walled gardens aimed to bridge the gap between the luxurious interior of the house and the nature that surrounds it.
Ochiltree’s Dining offers a range of food with a view of the walled gardens and the historic house. There is also a play trail with exciting things such as a playhouse on stilts, swing, mini suspension bridge and a tunnel slide. Sir Walter Scott described Abbotsford as ‘Romance in stone and mortar’ and this can truly be seen today.