In 1811, Scott bought a small farm of 100 acres called Cartleyhole, nicknamed Clarty (mucky in Scots) Hole near Melrose in the Scottish Borders. He first built a small villa and named it Abbotsford, creating the name from a ford nearby where previously abbots of Melrose Abbey used to cross the river. Over the subsequent years Scott built additions to the house, making it into a Gothic fantasy of a mansion augmented with sculptured stones from ruined castles and abbeys around Scotland. Scott packed the house with books, ancient furniture, arms and armour, and other relics and curiosities connected with Scottish history.
Unfortunately, the family would only enjoy one year in the house until he was hit with the bankruptcy which haunted what remained of his life.
Abbotsford House is now open to the public and visitors can see Scott’s study and library, as well as the dining room where he died. You can visit, or stay or even get married in the home Scott described as ‘a romance in stone and mortar’.