Throwback – Abbotsford

Abbotsford and the Tweed

Prowling round the Borders the way I’ve been doing takes me inevitably back to Walter Scott, who I think tends to be overlooked as a Georgian writer now because he wrote so little about his own times, but who was definitely one of the most famous writers of the period – although during the wars it would have been his poetry, because his first novel,  Waverley, wasn’t published until 1812.

He bought and began to rebuild the house at Abbotsford near Melrose in 1811 – as Sheriff for Selkirkshire he was required to live for part of the year within the shire, and had earlier leased a house at Ashestiel, but he also had strong family links to the Borders, and had spent part of his childhood on his grandparents’ farm near Kelso.

It started off just as a farmhouse, but ended up as quite an impressive – if eclectic – building.


Scott’s interest in local history also shows up in the house, which has stonework from older buildings built into the walls.

Old stones
Old stones
The garden