Abottsford, Melrose, Roxburghshire


The Library, Abbotsford
c.1920
Publisher: W. Ritchie & Sons (“Reliable series”), 1902-28

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Abbotsford is a historic country house in the Scottish Borders, near Galashiels, on the south bank of the River Tweed. Now open to the public, it was built as the residence of historical novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott between 1817 and 1825. . . . The estate and its neo-Medieval features nod towards Scott’s desire for a historical feel, but the writer ensured that the house would provide all the comforts of modern living. As a result, Scott used the space as a proving-ground for new technologies. The house was outfitted with early gas lighting and pneumatic bells connecting residents with servants elsewhere in the house.
Wikipedia.

The library at Abbotsford is entirely the creation of Scott: it begins with the chapbooks he collected as a child and continues through the small volumes of poetry he annotated as a schoolboy.
Abbotsford: the home of Sir Walter Scott

From this you pass into the largest of all the apartments, the library, which I really must say, is really a noble room. It is an oblong of some fifty feet, by thirty, with a projection in the centre, opposite the fireplace, terminating in a grand bow window, fitted up with books also, and, in fact, constituting a sort of chapel to the church. The roof is of carved oak again a very rich pattern I believe chiefly a la Roslin; and the bookcases, which are also of richly carved oak, reach high up the walls all round. The collection amounts, in this room, to some fifteen or twenty thousand volumes, arranged according to their subjects : British history and antiquities, filling the whole of the chief wall ; English poetry and drama, classics and miscellanies, one end : foreign literature, chiefly French and German, the other. The cases on the side opposite the fire are wired and locked, as containing articles very precious and very portable. One consists entirely of Books and MSS. relating to the insurrections of 1715 and 1745; another (within the recess of the bow window), of treatises de re magice, both of these being (I am told, and can well believe) in their several ways, collections of the rarest curiosity. My cicerone pointed out, in one corner, a magnificent set of Mountfaucon, ten volumes folio, bound in the richest manner in scarlet, and stamped with the royal arms, the gift of his present Majesty.

There are few living authors of whose works presentation copies are not to be found here. My friend showed me inscriptions of that sort in, I believe, every European dialect extant. The books are all in prime condition, and bindings that would satisfy Mr. Dibdin. The only picture is Sir Walter’s eldest son, in hussar uniform, and holding his horse, by Allan of Edinburgh, a noble portrait, over the fireplace ; and the only bust is that of Shakespeare, from the Avon monument, in a small niche, in the centre of the east side. On a rich stand of porphyry, in one corner, reposes a tall silver urn, filled with bones from the Piraeus, and bearing the inscription, “Given by George Gordon, Lord Byron, to Sir Walter Scott, Bart.” It contained the letter which accompanied the gift, till lately — it has disappeared, no one guesses who look it ; but, whoever he was, as my guide observed, he must have been a thief for thieving’s sake truly, as he durst no more exhibit his autograph, than tip himself a bare bodkin ! Sad, infamous tourist, indeed ! Although I saw abundance of comfortable looking desks and arm chairs, yet this room seemed rather too large and fine for work and I found accordingly, after passing a double pair of doors, that there was a sanctum within and beyond this library. And here you may believe, was not to me the least interesting, though by no means the most splendid, part of the suit.
Sydney Gazette, 16 May 1829


The Study, Abbotsford

The Study was designed as Scott’s private sanctum and was the last room to be completed at Abbotsford in 1824.
Abbotsford: the home of Sir Walter Scott

ABBOTSFORD
AND SIR WALTER SCOTT’S STUDY.

The lion’s own den proper, then, is a room of about five-and-twenty feet square by twenty feet high, containing of what is called furniture nothing but a small writing-table in the centre, a plain arm chair covered with black leather–a very comfortable one though, for I tried it.–and a single chair besides, plain symptoms that this is no place for company. On either side of the fire-place their are shelves filled with duodecimos and books of reference, chiefly, of course, folios ; but except these there are no books save the contents of a light gallery which runs round three sides of the room, and is reached by a hanging stair of carved oak in one corner. You have been both at the Elisée Bourbon and Mulmaison, and remember the library at one or other of those places, I forget which ; this gallery is much in the same style. There are only two portraits, an original of the beautiful and melancholy head of Claverhouse, and a small full length of Rob Roy. Various little antique cabinets stand round about, each having a bust on it : Stothard’s Canterbury Pilgrims are on the mantlepiece; and in one corner, I saw a collection of really useful weapons, those of the forest craft, to wit–axes and bills and so forth of every calibre. There is only one window pierced in a very thick wall, so that the place is rather sombre ; the light tracery work of the gallery over-head, harmonizes with the books well. It is a very comfortable looking room, and very unlike any other I was in. I should not forget some Highland clamorers, cluttered round a target over the Canterbury people, nor a writing-box of carved wood, lined with crimson velvet, and furnished with silver plate of right venerable aspect, which looked as if it might be the implement of old Chaucer himself, but which from the arms on the lid must have belonged to some Indian Prince of the day of Leo the magnificent at the furthest.
Sydney Gazette, 16 May 1829


Ground Plan of House (from Wikimedia Commons.)

Arundel Castle, Arundel, West Sussex


Arundel: the castle
“Published by the Photochrom Co., Ltd., London and Tunbridge Wells
Passed for publication by the Press Censor, September 1917.”

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Panorama of town, showing castle

There are nearly 1,000 years of history at this great castle, situated in magnificent grounds overlooking the River Arun in West Sussex and built at the end of the 11th century by Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Arundel. The oldest feature is the motte, an artificial mound, over 100 feet high from the dry moat, and constructed in 1068: followed by the gatehouse in 1070. Under his will, King Henry I (1068-1135) settled the Castle and lands in dower on his second wife, Adeliza of Louvain. Three years after his death she married William d’Albini II, who built the stone shell keep on the motte. King Henry II (1133-89), who built much of the oldest part of the stone Castle, in 1155 confirmed William d’Albini II as Earl of Arundel, with the Honour and Castle of Arundel.
Arundel Castle

William de Albini died in 1176 and Arundel Castle once again reverted to the Crown. Henry II made numerous modifications to the site including adding a new residential range in the southern bailey. Eventually he returned the castle to William’s son and it remained with his heirs until it passed through marriage to the FitzAlan family in 1243. They built new lodgings in the south bailey to replace the domestic accommodation on the motte but also upgraded the defences including adding the Barbican and Beaumont Tower.

The castle was slighted in 1653 to prevent future military use and this partial demolition included destruction of the residential portions. Accordingly the site was not used until 1708 when Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk restored the South Range for use as an occasional residence. However, towards the end of the eighteenth century Charles Howard, eleventh Duke of Norfolk commenced rebuilding and remodelling the site in a Gothic theme. His efforts were not appreciated however, with Queen Victoria describing it as “bad architecture”, and accordingly Arundel Castle was substantially restyled again between 1875 and 1900. This work was undertaken by Henry Fitzalan-Howard, Duke of Norfolk who recruited architect Charles Buckler to rebuild the castle in a gothic revival style creating the structure visible today.
Castles Forts Battles


The Keep and Drawbridge to Arundel Castle.
(no details on back)

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