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The South Court is the first of the three outdoor ‘rooms’ that Sir Walter Scott designed as picturesque settings for his house at Abbotsford.
Designed as the formal entrance to Abbotsford, it has an imposing entrance gate and high surrounding walls which act as a foil to the gothic arcade, which is based on the cloister at Melrose Abbey.
The court provides a sense of protection for the infinitely detailed South façade of the house, which must have shocked visitors of the day who were used to the symmetry and elegant simplicity of Georgian architecture. There is detail upon detail of historical reference to be discovered, inserted into the walls of the house and garden. You could play an endless game of ‘trivial pursuit’ looking for keys and signs of great historical or cultural moments - or you could just sit back and day dream as the shadows slip round the ancient sun-dial.
The sunken garden to the east of the house – known in Scott’s day as the East Court – is the second of the three interlinking outdoor ‘rooms’ at Abbotsford.
Sir Walter Scott’s kitchen garden – the third of the interconnecting outdoor ‘rooms’ at Abbotsford – is reached from the Morris Garden through a stone archway.