Abbotsford, the marvellous home of Sir Walter Scott...


(This is more picture heavy than writing, so please don't feel as if you have to read it all, the information is here for those that enjoy history and the learning side of things)


I've wanted to go to Abbotsford for a very long time...though it had been closed due to heavy refurbishments, but finally it opened once again (with the Queen there and all) & I just had to see it for myself. It was a lengthy car drive with 2 children getting car sick, but we made it. And as soon as I seen the house through the trees, I felt as though I would fly the rest of the way. Walter Scott was the foremost literary figure of his day. He was born in 1771, and by the time of his death in 1832 had outlived all the great romanticists except Coleridge and Wordsworth, he is better know than any of them. Scott was the first English-language author to really have an international career in his lifetime, with many readers in Europe, Australia and North America. His novels and poetry are still read and many of his works remain classics including, 'Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Lady of The Lake, Waverley, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor'.  The Waverly Novels, as the 26 novels were named, were the world's first real historical novels and the world's best sellers. They paved the way for the great popular novels of the Victorian age and influenced Pushkin and Tolstoy as well as George Eliot & Dickens. This earned him the money to buy land, plants the trees and build his Abbotsford.


Scott inspired more operas than any other writer except Shakespeare. He became friends with great men such as Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Lawrence, Turner, Humphrey Davy. When the financial crash of 1826 and the subsequent fall of many companies, Scott's publisher and partner became liable for debts amounting to £20m in today's terms. Although Scott's own liabilities were modest, he elected to pay off the entire debt on his own and stated that 'my own right hand shall do it' and for the remaining years of his life he devoted himself to the self-imposed task. He couldn't ever lose his home, he loved it too much.
Abbotsford is the exclusive creation of Scott. It's his 'Conundrum Castle', where he created a world of Scotland that was in some ways more romantic, but also higher, more honourable, noble, than it had been in the past. And in doing this he raised it's reputation around the world. Abbotsford until 2004 was under the care of the Maxwell Scott family & in 2007 was passed into the care of The Abbotsford Trust, a charity that safeguards the future of the estate and the legacy of Sir Walter Scott. 
This place stole my heart in seconds, I was amazed by it's beauty and it felt at times he was still there smiling at everyone's excitement at viewing his home. It's wonderful that he will always be remembered & adored for his talents and imaginations for generations to come. If you're ever in Scotland, I urge you to go and see it for yourself & hope you will love it as much as I do. In the next post, I will take you into his beloved gardens, I hope you enjoyed this & it wasn't too much (sorry if it was).

Have a wonderful Monday dolls,
xoxoxoxoxox


...The guest books as you can see above and below...signed by some more greats...above, Oscar Wilde, and below Charles Dickens & his wife.



...Above, some of Sir Walter Scott's clothes, hat, gloves, shoes, jacket....and if you look even closer, you will see our reflections ;)


...The grand hallway entrance, created from an impressive baronial fantasy. You'll find at the eastern part of the hallway he's placed two of only a few examples in Scotland of full suits of armour, one being tilt armour from 1580. Found at the west end, Scott has displayed his spoils collected from the field of Waterloo, including two highly prized French cuirasses.






...Along the hallway, now displayed are the clothes worn by Scott in his last portrait, a clock that belonged to Marie Antoinette and a myriad of other items relating to Napoleonic France and medieval Scotland. The walls are clad in oak panelling from the Auld Kirk of Dunfermiline and the arms of the Border families are painted around the cornice.The arms of Scott's ancestors are on a shield running down the center of the roof.




...The Study (above & below) is maybe the most personal of all the rooms, as this as where all of Scott's beautiful works were written. It houses 2,000 rare books. Books he used in helping him write up until his death. Scott's original writing desk and chair are still in situ along with the 'Robroyston chair', which was made of wood from the house in which William Wallace was betrayed and captured. The room also currently houses Scott's death mask.




...On to the library (my second favourite room) which holds over 7,000 volumes, it remains as it was when Sir Walter Scott arranged the books on the shelves. He was a very avid book collector since childhood. The library includes exceptional collections of printed works and manuscripts on witchcraft and folklore, Scottish history, travel and exploration, literature and law, written in some seventeen different languages. Many of these books have been used as 'working tools' for his own writing and are annotated by him; others were gifts sent by admiring authors and publishers from Europe, America and even Australia. I think this shows greatly how much he was appreciated and admired.





...Now, we enter my favourite room of all! The Chinese Drawing Room. I think my heart skipped a thousand beats upon entering in to gaze at it's divine beauty. The walls are hung with the original 18th century Chinese painted paper. It was a present to Scott from his cousin who worked for the East India Company (can I have a job or a cousin like this!?!). In the center of the ceiling, painted to look like clouds, hangs an exquisite gas lustre designed by James Milne. Abbotsford was the first home in Scotland to have gas. Which Scott installed as early as 1823.




...You will also find in this room a silver urn on display (the light wasn't good enough to snap a picture) given as a token of respect and affection from the equally amazing Lord Byron (Miss. Meadows...thought of you here). He was a great fan and also became a close personal friend. You will also see a portrait painted of Scott by Sir Henry Raeburn, painted in 1819. It shows a young Scott with his much loved dogs Camp & Percy.





...Walking on, you will pass through the Armoury & Ante-room, Scott was passionate about this room, it houses an extraordinary collection, all of which is laid out exactly the same as it was in 1818. On the west wall, you will find guns and swords including Scott's own blunderbuss and personal pistols as well as Rob Roy's broadsword, dirk and sporran purse. The keys of Lochlevan Castle are also found here, they were thrown into the loch after Mary Queen of Scots' escape.  The painted stained glass was specifically designed for Abbotsford & is the work of Daniel Terry's wife. The glass designs shows Scott's armorial bearings.  





...Alas we have made our way to the dining room. This room's ceiling ribs have now been painted, it was originally grained to look as though it was carved from solid oak. This was one of Scott's favourite rooms and he spent much time here looking out onto the River Tweed. In 1832 he was taken ill and asked that his bed be moved into this room so that he could continue to enjoy his favourite view. He passed away in this room on the 21st of September. 






{All photos taken by me, Kizzy H. Do not even think of swiping my photos without permission, thank you. The history part was helped by the Abbotsford website & books}












34 comments

  1. I did know nothing about this place and this story, I feel so ignorant!!
    HAve a lovely onday!
    Don't Call Me Fashion Blogger
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  2. amazing place dear...really suggestive
    xoxo
    happy start of week

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  3. Love these pics! Thanks for this virtual visit in this amazing home!!
    Kisses
    Francy&Stef
    Chic With The Least
    Also on Facebook and on Bloglovin’

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  4. Looks amazing from the pics, and I'm sure it's more amazing when you visit there. I wish i had the opportunity to go to more interesting historical places but my country doesn't have that many. Am glad you enjoyed :) Have a great week Doll :) xxx

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  5. This house really does fit the definition of grand and majestic, an absolutely beautiful place that I think I'd like to visit some day, lovely photos!

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  6. I love visiting historic places like this and always think I can nearly feel the presence of history and the people who lived there - even if that sounds silly. This one is a tiny bit dark for my liking, though I love the wallpaper and the portrait looks amazing. Have a lovely start to the week KL ;-) xo

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  7. this place seems magic and full of story!
    Ciao
    Nicky

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  8. What a lovely place! Wish I had a library like that... Thank you for thinking of me when you were there! Hope I get to visit it myself some day! :) xox

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  9. You have a way of making me love art all over again, lovely post
    Shana-Style

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  10. OMG How interesting are those visits!! I love to discover all the habits of the ancients! Really great pics doll!!
    xx

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  11. I am so glad that you shared this, because I was so looking forward to learning more about this place, and really want to go visit now. Such stunning photos and history dear. Have a marvellous week. xx/Madison :)

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  12. Too much?! It was exactly enough - I loved this post! So interesting to read more about Sir Walter Scott and get a peek inside his beautiful home xo

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  13. What a fabulous house! I love visiting places with history like this one. That wallpaper is just to die for. I hope you are doing well!

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  14. So so so cool! LOVE all of these photos!

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  15. I just loved every single pic of this post. Absolutely fabulous!

    ❤ StylishByNature.com

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  16. It looks like you had a wonderful time at the castle! :) x

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  17. Wow great post!!! wonderful house!!
    Have a good week, dear Kizzy!!! my g+!!!:)))

    Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

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  18. as always, another lovely post! Hope you can read the latest entry on my blog entitled Everything 4 D Jeans Lover

    xoxo;
    Into The Blush, a Beauty Blog by Kenny.

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  19. Wow, this is indeed a wonderful place. The chinese drawing room is my favourite too. I wish you a wonderful week, lots of love, xxx

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    1. Thanks so much doll :)) I wish you wonderful week too. Lots of love xxx

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  20. Kizzy, my jaw is on the floor right now! You lucky girl! Sir Walter Scott's home is a treasure trove. He was truly loved on an international scale! That was so unheard of back then! Everyone stayed to themselves and with their own country & people. That shows how admirable, respected and praised he was. I really enjoyed looking at the signatures in the guest book and his library. They've really preserved his works, what he accumulated and treasured. I love libraries like that. I love classic books with their strong binding and such. THAT is a library. They did a wonderful job with the preservation. I love that clock (Marie Antoinette)! Gosh it is gorgeous. I really appreciated this post. You did an awesome job bringing this to us. I appreciated it and THANK YOU!
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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    1. Ohh thank you Kim, your comments are always so encouraging and wonderful to read :)) I knew you'd love this place :)) And appreciate it too!! It took a long time to get this all together, so it's nice that it was appreciated :))) <3

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  21. Oh wow sooo beautiful! I love those old british estates. Oh, it looks like I might be going to Scotland in September. Couldn't be more excited :) xx

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  22. Oh my goodness gracious! What an absolutely beautiful home he had. Why I wouldn't be surprised if he still walks the halls. :) I loved seeing his home dear Kizzy. Thank you so much for sharing with us. My favorite was also the Chinese papered room. Oh....I do so want that paper in my bedroom. :) Blessings my love! Xoxo

    Debra@stylewisebydebra.com

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  23. Looks amazing. So many amazing details and so artistic.

    Tracy @ www.sunnydaystarrynight.com

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  24. Great post, dear. I love to visit that kind of houses and there are so many in UK.

    Thank you for your kind words, my friend. I'm trying hard to get well.
    Beijo
    Nina

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  25. Thanks for the wonderful tour through Abbottsford! It looks so rich with history and amazing details.

    Hope your week is off to a lovely start Kizzy!

    Rowena @ rolala loves

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  26. Hey Kizzy,

    Thanks for sharing this with us, what lovely pictures! The study looks incredible, what a wonderful place filled with history!
    Hope all is well with you and the kids are enjoying summer!
    x.o.x.o

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  27. Kizzy... the ride was definitely worth it!! What an amazing and astonishing place!! No wonder you wanted to visit it for so long...
    xoxo
    Patricia

    http://misstoptenimage.blogspot.com

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  28. I remember from my classical studies that Sir Scott was one of the first novelists of our time, but I hadn't thought about him for years!! So thank you for this post and for the stunning images. The place looks on the outside like Downton Abbey, on the inside like the castle of Beauty and the beast (the cartoon yes). Ok, hope you won't ban me from your blog for irreverent conduct :-) lots of love Kizzy friend!
    xoxo
    Coco et La vie en rose
    Coco et La vie en rose on Bloglovin
    Coco et La vie en rose on Facebook

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  29. That's so wonderful you had the chance to go. It looks absolutely wonderful. I love how each room and individual element has so much character. It was great to see these photos.

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  30. wow these photos are so wonderful!! love all the history here! and thats so cool how the guest book is filled with so many literary greats! :)

    katslovefashion.blogspot.com

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  31. omg this place is awesome!|!you can breathe history!I love the wallpaper with birds and butterflies!!
    paolasophia.blogspot.it

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