Past Seat Of: Sir Walter Scott, Bt., 1812-32; Sir Walter Joseph Constable Maxwell-Scott, unitl 1954; Dame Jean Maxwell-Scott, until 2004.
Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction
Current Ownership Use / Details: Owned and operated by The Abbotsford Trust.
Earlier Houses/Buildings: An earlier farmhouse named Cartley Hall was demolished by Sir Walter Scott in 1822 and replaced by the current house.
Built / Designed For: Sir Walter Scott, Bt.
House & Family History: In 1812, using income from his increasingly successful books, Walter Scott bought the Cartley Hall farmhouse along the Tweed. He demolished the old farmhouse in 1822 and replaced it with the current Scottish Baronial house (a style Scott helped to make enormously popular) that he renamed Abbotsford. The Entrance Hall is decorated with wood paneling from Dunfermline Abbey Church. In the 1850s a new wing was added by Scott's heirs to provide more private living accommodation away from the eyes of the increasingly large number of visitors that were coming to Abbotsford. Scott was created a baronet in 1820 by King George IV for his work in raising the profile of Scotland -- including architecturally -- and for his contributions to literature. The famous author died in the Dining Room at Abbotsford on September 21, 1832 and was buried at Dryburgh Abbey. Abbotsford, already a popular destination during Scott's lifetime, became a pilgrimage destination after his death, a tradition which it continues to serve today.
Collections: The Library contains 9,000 rare volumes; there is also an important collection of armor and a collection of curiosities, including Rob Roy souvenirs, a desk that belonged to King George IV, and a glass belonging to Robert Burns. On June 28, 2006 the firm of Lyon & Turnbull, Edinburgh, auctioned some contents of Abbotsford formerly belonging to the late Dame Jean Maxwell-Scott.
House Listed: Category A
Park Listed: Outstanding
Garden, Park, Follies and Outbuildings: In the early 19th century the old Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh was demolished and some of the stonework found its way to the grounds of Abbotsford.
J.B. Burke (Burke's Visitation of Seats): 2.S. Vol. I, p. 244, 1854.
Country Life: CLXXII, 886 [Sir Walter Scott and his collection], 1982. C. Wainwright in Jun 9, 1989.
Location for Movies / TV: "Castle in the Country" (2008 - TV BBC documentary series, episode 4.4).
Title: Abbotsford Guidebook
Author: Maxwell-Scott, Walter
Year Published: NA
Publisher: Scotland: The Abbotsford Estate
Book Type: Light Softback
Title: Hudson's Historic Houses & Gardens, 1999
Year Published: 1999
Publisher: Oxfordshire: Norman Hudson & Company
Book Type: Softback
Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
Author: Colvin, Howard
Year Published: 1995
Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
Book Type: Softback