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Abbotsford (Cartley Hall)

  • Earlier Houses: 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.

  • Garden & 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.

  • Architect: Edward Blore

    Designed: Ideas for exterior of House

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    Architect: William Atkinson

    Date: 1814-24
    Designed: House

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    Architect: William Burn

    Date: 1853-55
    Designed: Southwest Wing for J.R. Hope-Scott

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  • John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: 2.S. Vol. I, p. 244, 1854.

    John Preston (J.P.) Neale, published under the title of Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, among other titles: 2.S. Vol. V, 1829.

    Country Life: CLXXII, 886 [Sir Walter Scott and his collection], 1982. C. Wainwright in Jun 9, 1989.

  • Title: Abbotsford Guidebook
    Author: Maxwell-Scott, Walter
    Year Published: NA
    Publisher: Scotland: The Abbotsford Estate
    ISBN: 0859332705
    Book Type: Light Softback

    Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 1995
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300072074
    Book Type: Softback

  • House Listed: Category A

    Park Listed: Outstanding

  • "Castle in the Country" (2008 - BBC TV documentary series, episode 4.4).
  • Past Seat / Home 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

    Ownership Details: Owned and operated by The Abbotsford Trust.

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 01896-752-043

    Fax: 01896-752-916

    Email: enquiries@scottsabbotsford.co.uk

    Website: http://www.scottsabbotsford.co.uk

    Historic Houses Member: Yes