Abbotsford - Home of Sir Walter
Abbotsford House is situated 2 miles
west of the Borders Town of Melrose,
38 miles southeast of Edinburgh.
Abbotsford is popular for tours of the
House, Chapel, Gardens, large modern Cafe
with great views over the House, and a
modern Visitor Centre covering the life
of Sir Walter Scott from birth till
The House and Gardens are open March -
November with an entrance fee, 10.00 -
17.00 or 16.00, Visitor Centre and Cafe
are open all year round. Postcode: TD6
See also a large Click On Map for the area Towns and
The Image top is of Abbotsford House from
the Sunken Garden.
The second image is of the Entrance to
Abbotsford House, where the Entrance Hall has a
vast display of Armour, some of which has holes
where the person wearing it met a gruesome
You can take a Guided Tour around the House,
or wander round yourself. You are only allowed
in the downstairs rooms.
Sir Walter Scott died in the Dining Room of
Abbotsford on the 21st September 1832. He had
returned from a trip to Italy earlier that
year, before being diagnosed with Typhus. A bed was made
up for him by the window in the Dining Room,
from where he could admire the views till he
1811 - Scott bought the land of Abbotsford
after his lease for a Mansion in the area ran
out. He began by building a Cottage on the
1824 - the Abbotsford House seen today was
completed. The building of the House led to
Scott running up debt, with the debt not being
paid off till after his death.
Sir Walter Scott History
1771 - Walter Scott was born, the ninth
child to Walter Scott, a Solicitor, and Anne
Rutherford, in a third floor flat in the Old
Town of Edinburgh, on College Wynd, a
dirty place with a lot of disease. Six of
Walters brothers and sisters died in their
1773 - Scott contracted Polio that left him
lame. He was then often sent to live with his
Grandparents in the Borders region of Scotland,
at their Sandyknowe Farm, a much healthier
place to grow up. The young Scott often played
at Smailholm Tower next to the Farm, a
building his Ancestors once lived in.
1783 - Scott began studying Classics at the
University of Edinburgh, then later studied
1792 - Scott began working as an Advocate in
Edinburgh, at a time he was also writing
Ballads and Poems.
1797 - Scott married his wife Jean
Carpenter, with them having 5 children whilst
living in Edinburgh.
1799 - Scott was appointed Sheriff-Depute of
the County of Selkirk in the Borders, leading
to him living between Edinburgh and in the
Scott worked as Sheriff at Selkirk Court
from 1799 till his death in 1832, mainly
dealing with petty crime such as theft and
poaching. The Court is now a museum in the
centre of Selkirk.
1800 - the first of Walter Scott's Ballads
was published, the start of his road to
Scott was interested in True Stories, often
visiting historic places for inspiration, and
liked to solve mysteries.
1804 - Scott leased the Mansion House of
miles northwest of Selkirk, on the south bank
of the River Tweed.
1809 - Scott visited the extremely scenic
area of Loch Katrine in the Trossachs area of
Scotland, where he produced his famous poem -
The Lady of the
1811 - Scott bought Cartley Hole Farm, on
the south bank of the River Tweed, 5 miles
northeast of Selkirk, 2 miles west of
1812 - Scott built a Cottage on the site,
giving it the name, Abbotsford. The name is
after a shallow river crossing, Ford, used by
1815 - Scott traveled to Europe to visit the
site of the Battle of
Waterloo, where Napoleon of France was
defeated for the final time. Scott wrote the
Poem: The Field of Waterloo, during that
1817 - Scott wrote the novel Rob Roy, about
a true life Scottish Outlaw from the Loch
Katrine area. His novels and poems about
Scotland are said to have vastly increased
tourism in Scotland.
1818 - Scott was one of a group that
rediscovered the Scottish Crown
Jewels, hidden at Edinburgh Castle since
the Act of the Union in 1707.
Scott also had an interest in the Knights
Templar, and visited Rosslyn
Chapel, one of the places associated with
the Knight Templar and the Holy Grail. There
seems to be no documents from Scott, so far, on
what he found about the Knights Templar in
1824 - the Baronial style Mansion House of
Abbotsford was completed for Scott on the site
of his Cottage.
1825 - a banking crises led to the collapse
of the printing business Scott had a
partnership in, leading to vast debts.
1826 - Scott's wife Charlotte died. She was
buried in the Scott family vault at Dryburgh
Abbey by Melrose.
Scott continued to write as much as he could
to try and pay off his debts, producing Novels,
Short Stories and more. He managed to pay off
about two thirds of his debt before his health
began to deteriorate.
1831 - Scott took a tour of Europe and
Italy. After his return from Europe, he was
diagnosed with Typhus.
1823, 21st September - Scott died in the
Dining Room of Abbotsford. He was buried next
to his wife in Dryburgh Abbey
a few days later.
1833 - Abbotsford House was opened to the
public as a Museum. Ongoing sales of Scott's
literature soon paid off all his remaining
debts, and along with money from the Museum,
gave his descendants a comfortable life.
1839 - a Statue of Sir
Walter Scott was erected at Selkirk Market
Square, in front of the Court he worked in for
1844 - the vast Scott Monument
was completed in Princes Street Gardens in
Edinburgh, with amazing views from
the top, after climbing the many narrow
1847 - Scott's son Walter died, leading to
Abbotsford passing to his granddaughter
Charlotte. It was Charlotte that had the Hope
Scott Wing and Chapel built onto the original
Charlotte and her family lived in the new
building until 2004, so the main House could be
kept open to the public.
2013 - Abbotsford was re-opened to the
public by the Queen after a 2 year renovation
project, that also saw the new Visitor Centre
Today, there are large numbers of visitors
to Abbotsford from around the world, one of the
top attractions in the Borders of Scotland.