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Abbostsford House

Christine Smith

Grovedale, Australia

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FEATURED in Quality Layered Work + HDR Group 09-01-2010
FEATURED in Architecture – The British Isles 14-01-2011
FEATURED in Your Country’s Best 16-01-2011
FEATURED in Preserving History 13-02-2011

Camera: Canon EOS 400D, Lens: @ 28mm, ISO: 200, Aperture: f8, Shutter: 1/100

Abbotsford is a historic house near Melrose in Scotland, and is situated on the south bank of the River Tweed. It was formerly the residence of historical novelist and poet, Walter Scott. It is a Category A Listed Building, and is under the contol of the Abbostford Trust. Sir Walter Scott bought the property in 1811 and then modified it to the grand house it is today. The writer died here in 1832, and the house remained in the family until recent years. Scott’s only son Walter did not live to enjoy the property, having died on his way from India in 1847. Among subsequent possessors were Scott’s son-in-law, John Gibson Lockhart, J. R. Hope Scott, Q.C., and his daughter (Scott’s great-granddaughter), the Hon. Mrs Maxwell Scott. Abbotsford opened to the public in 1833 (a year after the death of Scott, and among the first historic houses to become a public attraction) and from the outset, it was a huge hit with visitors. This resulted in his descendents extending the house and adapting the garden and landscape to cope with the huge numbers that visited. Scott’s descendants continued to live in the house until 2004. The last of his direct descendants to inhabit Abbotsford was his great-great-great-granddaughter Dame Jean Maxwell-Scott (8 June 1923 – 5 May 2004). She inherited it from her elder sister Patricia in 1998. The sisters turned the house into one of Scotland’s premier tourist attractions after they had to rely on paying visitors to afford the upkeep of the house. It had electricity installed only in 1962. Following the death of Dame Jean Maxwell Scott, a charitable trust, the Abbotsford Trust (Charity No SCO37425) was established to safeguard the house for current and future generations. The trust embarked upon an ambitious £10 million campaign to save Abbotsford in 2009. This campaign will see the repair and restoration of the house and grounds and the creation of a new visitor centre.

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