Abbotsford House

© Copyright and database right 2014. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100020548.

Alternative Names Cartleyhole, Abbotsford
Site Type COUNTRY HOUSE (19TH CENTURY), FARMHOUSE, PILLORY
Canmore ID 55750
Site Number NT53SW 41
NGR NT 50815 34266
Council SCOTTISH BORDERS, THE
Parish MELROSE
Former Region BORDERS
Former District ETTRICK AND LAUDERDALE
Former County ROXBURGHSHIRE
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Treasured Places - HLF funded

In 1811 Sir Walter Scott purchased the farm of Clarty Hole and renamed it Abbotsford. He extended the farmhouse in 1818, and in 1824 carried out further work that fully replaced the older structure. The author's celebrity led to Abbotsford becoming a visitor attraction, popularising the Scots Baronial style in which it was built. Architectural fragments from around Scotland were used to decorate the house, including salvaged items and casts from standing buildings.

Information from RCAHMS (SC) 9 August 2007
Baldwin, J R 1985
Cruft, K, Dunbar, J and Fawcett, R 2006
Strang, C A 1994

An image of this site has been nominated as one of Scotland's favourite archive images. For more information about the project visit http://www.treasuredplaces.org.uk


Architectural Notes

NT53SW 41.00 50815 34266 Abbotsford House

NT53SW 41.01 50714 34083 West Lodge
NT53SW 41.02 50916 34285 Tearoom
NT53SW 41.03 5080 3425 Stables
NT53SW 41.04 50877 34310 Walled Garden
NT53SW 41.05 50842 34276 Sundial

Home of author Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832).

Owner: Mrs P Maxwell-Scott.

Architect: Edward Blore begun 1816
William Atkinson 1822-1824 completion of Blore's house.
William Burn 1851-1854 additional wing.



The original farmhouse (called Cartleyhole) which stood on the site of the present Abbotsford was acquired by Sir Walter Scott in 1811. By 1818, he had added a block to the SW end of the farmhouse. In 1822, he demolished the farmhouse and replaced it with what is now the principal block of Abbotsford.
Considerable additions were made after 1853; these included a chapel, a kitchen, and domestic offices, which were attached to the SW side of Scott's building of 1818. The house is large and substantially built in what came to be called the Scottish Baronial Style. On most of the SE front, only two storeys appear, but on the river front, owing to a fall in the ground, there is a basement below the main floor.
RCAHMS 1956, visited 1933

1999/2000 Survey.
This A-listed site was recorded as part of the Listed Buildings Recording Programme (LBRP) for 1999-2000. The survey concentrated in providing comprehensive photographic coverage of the exterior and interior of this key 'Baronial' house, with particular emphasis on internal features and fittings. The work of the architects Edward Blore and William Atkinson, Abbotsford's architectural history has been widely published.
One discovery made during survey was the identification of a watercolour showing a three-bay two-storeyed house as the original house on the site of the present building. A copy of this image has been made for the NMRS. Details photographs were also made of the extensive amount of sculpture built into the main house and garden walls, and of freestanding pieces.

ABBOTSFORD DRAWINGS
NMRS Photographic Survey of a collction of drawing for Abbotsford, including designs by John and thomas Smith 1821; sketch designs by Edward blore 1823; designs and working drawings by William Atkinson1818-1823; designs for heraldic shields; elevations of prinicpal rooms 1822; designs for furniture and carpets; sketches of interiors by M S Edmondes 1888; A bound volume of accounts including Sanderson and Paterson, builders 1816-1819; John and Thomas Smith 1920's; William Atkinson 1822; Edward Blore 1822; Nicholson and Hay 1824; William Trotter 1822; James Milne, Oil, Gas Apparatus 1823-1824; William Baird, plasterwork 1824; William Henry Brown, stained glass 1823 etc. A portfolio of designs for additions by William Burn 1853. Copied 1985.


EXTERNAL REFERENCE:

National Library - Scott M.S. 3134 - 1 rough sketch before old house removed
Country Life Magazine, May 7th, 1943 - article and photographs.

Mitchell Library - Annan, Vol. 2, No 58 - 2 photographs


SRO/NRS(S)
Scott of Gala

Bundle 433

Abbotsford. To Mr Craig, Galashiels.

Wishes some dark blue stones for front of his new buildings at Abbotsford and these
are found most satisfactory at Neidpath apposite to Yair: suggests taking them from
Quarry close by the high road. Feb. 1817. Letter Sir Walter Scott to John Scott of
Gala.


Sir Walter Scott's Journal

May 5th 1831
'Mr Burn, the architect, came in struck by the appearance of my house from the
road. He approved of my architecture greatly. He tells me the eddifice
for Jeanie Deans id nigh finished and I must get the inscription ready. Burns
went on to Richardson's place of Kirklands, where he is to meet the proprietor
whom I would wish to see ... here is a world of arrangements.

Notes and Activities Click to sort results by Event date ascending

Archaeological Notes

NT53SW 41.00 50815 34266 Abbotsford House

NT53SW 41.01 50714 34083 West Lodge
NT53SW 41.02 50916 34285 Tearoom
NT53SW 41.03 5080 3425 Stables
NT53SW 41.04 50877 34310 Walled Garden

(NT 50815 34266) Abbotsford (NAT)
OS 6" map (1967)

A fine pair of jougs about 6 ins in diameter hang beside the entrance to the forecourt.
Information from OS Recorder (IF) 22 February 1979.

1 January 1811 to 31 December 1811
 CHANGE OF NAME

Further details

1818
 MODIFICATION

Notes Addition of a block to the SW end of the farmhouse.

Further details

1 January 1822 to 31 December 1822
 CONSTRUCTION

Notes In 1822, Sir Walter Scott demolished the farmhouse and replaced it with what is now the principal block of Abbotsford.
RCAHMS 1956

Further details

1 January 1822 to 31 December 1822
 PARTIAL DEMOLITION

Notes The original farmhouse was demolished.

Further details

1853
 MODIFICATION

Notes Considerable additions were made after 1853; these included a chapel, a kitchen, and domestic offices, which were attached to the SW side of Scott's building of 1818.

Further details

1933
 MEASURED SURVEY

Further details

1956
 PHOTOGRAPHIC SURVEY

Further details

24 August 1998
 AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Project 1998 RCAHMS Aerial Survey

Further details

1 September 1999 to 9 May 2000
 PHOTOGRAPHIC SURVEY

Project Listed Buildings Recording Programme 1999

Notes This A-listed building was recorded as part of the Listed Buildings Recording Programme (LBRP) for 1999-2000. The survey concentrated in providing comprehensive photographic coverage of the exterior and interior of this key 'Baronial' house, with particular emphasis on internal features and fittings. The work of the architects Edward Blore and William Atkinson, Abbotsford's architectural history has been widely published.
One discovery made during survey was the identification of a watercolour showing a three-bay two-storeyed house as the original house on the site of the present building. A copy of this image has been made for the NMRS. Details photographs were also made of the extensive amount of scuplture built into the main house and garden walls, and of freestanding pieces.

Further details

11 May 2005
 AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Project 2005 RCAHMS Aerial Survey

Further details

20 June 2011 to 6 July 2011
 WATCHING BRIEF

Notes A watching brief was carried out during ground works for the construction of car park, parking bays and Visitor Reception Building to east of Abbotsford House, Melrose. There were no features, deposits or artefacts of archaeological significance identified during the watching brief.
Information from Oasis (cfaarcha1-104938) 5 January 2012

Further details

December 2011 to August 2012
 STANDING BUILDING RECORDING

Notes Level 1 and 2 standing building recording and archaeological watching briefs were carried out during refurbishment works at Abbotsford House, Melrose, Scottish Borders. Features recorded included a well, wall remains, a domestic boiler stance and a fire-proof cupboard. The watching brief was largely negative with the exxeption of a box drain and a hypocaust flue that headted one of the glasshouses in the East Court walled garden.
Information from Oasis (cfaarcha1-137361) 14 June 2013

Further details

 
Books and References

Anon (1838) Guide pittoresque du voyageur en Ecosse: orne de 120 vues, representant les principaux edifices, les curiosites naturelles, les chateaux remarquables, et tous les lieux cites par Walter Scott..., In French Paris
Page(s): 19 Held at RCAHMS D.20.GUI.R

Anon (1912) Abbotsford, Beautiful Britain series London
Held at RCAHMS D.1.33.ABB

Anon ([18--?]) Abbotsford: [estimates, accounts and plans] Photocopies of MSS and plans; 2v
Held at RCAHMS D.1.33.ABB.R

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