The Exhibition

Visit our permanent exhibition in the Visitor Centre and discover the life story of one of Scotland’s greatest men-of-letters for yourself.

Visit our permanent exhibition in the Visitor Centre and discover the life story of one of Scotland’s greatest men-of-letters for yourself. Follow Scott’s remarkable story from his birth in Edinburgh in 1771 to his childhood in the Borders, professional legal career, meteoric rise to fame as the author of the Waverley novels, financial ruin in 1826 and the cultural legacy he left to Scotland and the world.

The exhibition features rarely seen items from the Abbotsford collections including design books and accounts created during the construction of Scott’s beloved home at Abbotsford and visitor books containing the signatures of many notable figures including Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë and Oscar Wilde who came to Abbotsford in the years following Scott’s death in 1832.

Books and recordings of ballads, poems, myths and legends from Scott’s own library are displayed alongside paintings, engravings, letters, manuscripts and informative information panels telling the story of the man and the influences that led him to dominate world fiction and fuel a worldwide vogue for all things Scottish.

Other items on show include a set of Scott’s clothing, personal possessions and the egg-timer Scott used to set the pace of his writing and increase his production levels as he attempted to write himself out of a £126,000 debt – the equivalent of £10 million today – that resulted from the collapse of his publisher and printmaker in 1826.

"My Heart clings to the place I have created."Sir Walter Scott 1901 share this tweet

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