Abbotsford is a historic country house in the Scottish Borders, near Galashiels, on the south bank of the River Tweed. It was once the home of Sir Walter Scott, poet, historian and biographer.
Abbotsford came under the care of The Abbotsford Trust in 2007 – a charitable trust created following the death of Dame Jean Maxwell-Scott, the last descendant of Scott to live at Abbotsford.
I sensed Sir Walter Scott’s presence in every room and every pathway. Millions from all over the world have visited Abbotsford over the years. The Trust’s care and attention to detail throughout the house is evident which added to the memorable experience.
A writer, storyteller and seminal figure in the establishment of the historical novel genre, Sir Walter Scott wrote 27 novels in about 15 years, writing 3 all in 1819 alone. He especially appreciated the oral traditions of the Scottish Borders, taking pains to collect all the stories he heard. And when he was not writing, he was busy serving as a Clerk of Session for the Scottish Court, and as a Sheriff.
Sir Walter Scott died on 21 September 1832 on a temporary bed that had been set up for him in the dining room at Abbotsford. It was ‘a glorious autumn day, with every window open, and the ripple of the Tweed over its pebbles distinctly audible in his room’. His children were with him when he passed away, and ‘his eldest son kissed and closed his eyes.