Literary hotspots: Abbotsford

Abbotsford is the stunning home of writer, Sir Walter Scott. Scott is generally recognised as having more or less invented the romanticised “Scotland” as we know it today, as well as popularising the historical novel and, through his bestselling books, salvaging such properties as Kenilworth and Ashby de la Zouch castles.

This genius was a hoarder on an enormous scale, and for a clutter-monkey like me, the house is a treasure trove, ripe for the exploring! Unfortunately, the books were all elsewhere during our visit, as the site is soon to be closed whilst a visitor centre is built, but the armouries were well-stocked, and the house itself is worth a visit for the building alone, the gardens and the stained glass windows!

Scott inspired more operas than any other writer except Shakespeare…

Abbotsford is the exclusive creation of Scott. His ‘Conundrum Castle’ was where Scotland’s greatest son created a notion of Scotland that was more romantic perhaps, but also higher, more honourable, more noble, than it had been in the past, and in consequence raised Scotland’s reputation in the world. Here he worked diligently and the result was the legend of a great man which exists for so many people across the world to the present day.



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