Hope this article finds you well and enjoying life.
We received a letter in reference with the restoration of Sir Walter Scott’s House in the Borders region of Scotland and thought it would be great to share its contents as it is a cause that is close to our heart.
Samantha Hobrough is part of the Abbotsford’s delegation and they are looking to meet with people who might be able to assist them with fundraising, marketing or by introducing them to useful contacts.
Here’s an extract of her letter:
I’ve come across your website and wondered if you might be able to
help? I will be visiting New York and Toronto in the autumn as part of
a delegation from Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott in the
borders of Scotland.
We arrive in New York on the evening of the 9th
October and then leave for Toronto on the 13th October until the 16th
Abbotsford has now secured the full £11.68 million required for a
major capital campaign to restore the house that Sir Walter Scott
built and which houses so many of his treasures, and to build a new
Visitor Reception Building to greatly enhance the experience of all
those who visit us.
Construction of our new Visitor Reception Building
commenced on 6th June 2011 and work on the Historic House commences on
16th September. This means that we will now be focusing on raising the
£3 million endowment campaign to protect the long term future of the
Abbotsford estate and the important legacy left by Sir Walter Scott.
If you would like to get in touch with Samantha Hobrough, she can be reached via their website : Abbotsford, The Home of Walter Scott
To illustrate the interest of Saving Abbotsford, we are going to quote below a few lines from a very interesting article sent by Iain and Margaret and written by Patricia Maxwell-Scott, a very charming lady and a descendant of Sir Walter. We’re also going to quote some extracts from the colourful and very informative brochures we’ve received some time ago from the Sir Walter Scott Club. Our readers who are interested by the subject can dowmload a full information pack here.
Scott and his family moved into the little farmhouse in 1812, but he did not start enlarging and rebuilding the house until 1818.
Visitors started coming to Abbotsford the year after Sir Walter’s death in 1832 and the first visitors book was begun in that year. They have come ever since in increasing numbers until there are now 30,000 every year.
Scott loved Abbotsford and delighted in building it; his journal and letters are full of allusions to its progress and to his happiness in finding more and more treasures to add to his collection. Above all he loved the view of the Tweed and he wrote: ‘The view to the Tweed from all the principal apartments is beautiful. You look out from among bowers over a lawn of sweet turf upon the clearest of all streams fringed with the wildest of birch woods and backed with the green hills of Ettrick Forest.
(‘Living at Abbotsford’ by Patricia Maxwell-Scott of Abbotsford – Glasgow Illustrated – April 1964)
The Abbotsford Trust is determined to ensure that Scott’s internationally important legacy, as symbolised through Abbotsford, not only survives but succeeds in ensuring that people throughout the United Kingdom and all over the world continue to learn about Scott and come to understand the contribution he has made to our society and sense of national identity. With this in mind, the Trust is embarking upon an ambitious and visionary programme to reinvigorate and redevelop the house, collections and remaining estate. (…)
Through the creation of a new visitor reception building at Abbotsford and the upgrading of the whole visitor experience, the Trust aims to encapsulate the story of Sir Walter Scott and articulate it in a way that will appeal to a modern Scottish and international audience.
The new Visitor Centre will include:
Interpretation to introduce the story of Sir Walter Scott and Abbotsford.
A new cafe-tearoom with greater capacity and a terrace overlooking the house, gardens and wider landscape.
A new shop.
The new Visitor Centre will be free to access.
(A Vision for the Future – The Abbotsford Trust Brochure)
For over 170 years Abbotsford has acted as a beacon in the Scottish Borders. It has attracted people from across the world, touched by the works of Sir Walter Scott, his ideas and the legacy that he passed down to his family and wider society. Many individuals have imprinted their presence upon the house and estate. This includes heads of state, great literary giants and the servants who worked here. All have contributed to create a unique atmosphere and to play a part in the great legacy that can be found at Abbotsford. (…)
(Saving Abbotsford through Leaving a Legacy – The Abbotsford Trust Brochure)
Abbotsford is important to the people of Scotland, the rest of the United Kingdom and to the wider internation communicty. Currently it is enjoyed by a relatively small number of people and this is still declining. The Abbotsford Trust believes that it is crucial for a wider audience to be inspired and for a new, younger generation to discover the extraordinary achievements of Sir Walter Scott and how they relate to the modern world.
(Saving Abbotsford For The Future – Abbotsford Trust brochure)
The house, garden and landscape of Abbotsford are the creation of Sir Walter Scott and were developed from scratch between 1811 and 1825. While Scott is justly famed world-wide as Scotland’s most successful and prolific author of the 19th century, his surmounting interest, which gave him most pleasure – beyond even his antiquarian, historical and literary interests – was planting. At Abbotsford he assembled an estate by various land purchases, created enclosed gardens and parkland to complement the house, and laid out the largely unimproved land to form an extended wooded agricultural landscape which is uniquely adapted to its Tweedside setting.
The landscape composition is outstanding in aesthetic, scenic and architectural terms and its association with Scott gives it outstanding national value. The ambition of the capital campaign is to create a new visitor reception building that builds upon the garden innovation that Scott created at Abbotsford. The new build is designed to be environmentally sensitive and sustainable. (…)
(Saving Abbotsford – Saving the Environment – The Abbotsford Trust Brochure)
We have fond and moving memories of our visits to Abbotsford and wish that Sir Walter Scott’s beautiful legacy will rise and shine for years to come.
Janice and Mairiuna