Abbotsford

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Abbotsford is the ancestral home of Sir Walter Scott, the 19th century novelist and poet of "Waverley", "Ivanhoe", and "Lady of the Lake".

Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford remains today as one of the most famous houses in the world; it reflects, almost as no other place, the mind, enthusiasms and preoccupations of the man who built it. Constructed on the ample proceeds of a literary career without parallel, it is an enduring monument to the tastes, talents and achievements of its begetter. The stones of Abbotsford speak eloquently both of triumph and disaster: First of literary and worldly success, then of the fortitude with which adversity was faced and ultimately conquered in Scott’s debt-ridden but noble final years.

Stunningly located on the banks of the River Tweed in the Scottish Borders, Abbotsford sits at the heart of the landscape that inspired the poetry and novels of its creator. Unlike the homes of other great writers, this is a house that the writer himself designed and as such, uniquely embodies a physical representation of the Romantic Movement that he helped to create. When you touch the bricks and mortar of Abbotsford, you are touching the soul of Scott.

Sir Walter Scott 'rescued' the "jougs(1)" from Threave Castle and attached them to the castellated gateway he built at Abbotsford.

Notes:
1.  The jougs was an iron collar fastened by a short chain to a wall, often of the parish church, or to a tree or mercat cross. The collar was placed round the offender's neck and fastened by a padlock. Time spent in the jougs was intended to shame an offender publicly. Jougs were used for ecclesiastical as well as civil offences. Some surviving examples can still be seen in situ in Scottish towns and villages. Jougs may be the origin of the later slang word "jug", meaning prison.

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    Last modified: Wednesday, 18 July 2018