Help us restore the Pavilion and return the heart to the centre of Sir Walter Scott’s Gardens
The Pavilion: Based within Abbotsford’s Regency Gardens, the Pavilion was designed by Sir Walter Scott and built by John Smith of Darnick as part of Abbotsford’s kitchen/fruit garden. It is a Category A listed building of national interest and one of very few examples of this style to remain, and was also one of the last Scott-era structures built at Abbotsford (circa 1824-25). The Pavilion is located against a heated wall, and the Furnace House is the lean-to roofed building on the other side of the wall. A boiler originally sent warm air through channels within the wall to create the right heat levels to protect tender plants growing against it.
After almost a year of essential conservation work costing £400,000, Walter Scott’s Gothic Garden Pavilion is accessible to visitors once again. To restore the Pavilion, we have:
- Re-built the roof. Timbers were repaired and re-used whenever possible, and glass reinstated in the same positions
- Introduced guttering to safely distribute rainwater and protect timbers vulnerable to rot
- Repaired the Pavilion’s glazing.
- Repaired the damaged stonework. The stone was conserved and fixed back together to ensure that as much as possible of the original stayed in place.
- Reinstated sandstone shield motifs which originally lined the outside of the Pavilion.
- The Furnace House roof has been repaired, and a stable door fitted so that the upper part can be left open
- Improved access by lowering the internal floors so there is less of a step at the front door.
As one phase ends, another begins, as we prepare to create a new visitor experience in the Pavilion and the Furnace House that heated it.
Our visitors will be able to:
- Discover how the technology of the hothouse worked with a soundscape and lightshow in the Furnace House
- Relax in the Pavilion and enjoy excerpts from Scott’s poetry about the natural world on a new listening bench, surrounded by displays of tender plants and fruits
- Explore a tactile cabinet of curiosities for all ages that brings the stories of Abbotsford’s gardens to life
- Unearth more information about the history of our gardens and their planting schemes
- Read, sketch and write in an inspiring setting
What will the restored Pavilion be used for?
In Scott’s day, the Pavilion was a heated outdoor room and was likely to have displayed rare and exotic plants. But Scott also intended the Pavilion to be a retreat, in which to sit and enjoy views of the garden in a warm and sheltered environment. Sir Walter Scott was a man ahead of his time in so many ways, and not least in his understanding of the intrinsic link between improved mental health and the outdoor world. In his writings, Scott repeatedly refers to the development and well-being of people mirroring that of trees and plants, both needing on-going nurture, protection and nourishment. Scott was no stranger to depression himself, and reflected in his Journal:
Fighting with this fiend is not always the best way to conquer him – I have always found exercise and the open air better than reasoning.
The pandemic has thrown a spotlight onto how essential social interaction is to keeping isolation and loneliness at bay and the vital importance of mental health to our overall well-being. As a lasting monument to Sir Walter Scott, we want to restore the Pavilion and create within it a dedicated space for well-being.
How to make a donation:
Online: Simply click on the big red DONATE button at the top of this page.
By text* (SMS):
- To donate £3, text SCOTT255 to 70331
- To donate £5, text SCOTT255 to 70970
- To donate £10, text SCOTT255 to 70191
By Cheque: Please make cheques payable to The Abbotsford Trust and post to: Abbotsford, Melrose, Roxburghshire TD6 9BQ
Gift Aid: If you are a UK taxpayer, Gift Aid can increase the value of your donation at no extra cost to you: through the Government’s Gift Aid scheme, The Abbotsford Trust can claim an additional 25p for every £1 you donate. Gift Aid may also be tax efficient for you if you are a higher rate taxpayer. We can send you a Gift Aid declaration form if we do not already have one for you. For more information about the Gift Aid scheme, please see www.gov.uk/donating-to-charity/gift-aid
Thank you for your support towards the restoration of the Pavilion, it is very much appreciated. As Sir Walter Scott said:
Yet to save Abbotsford I would attempt all that was possible. My heart clings to the place I have created. There is scarce a tree on it that does not owe its being to me.
* Fundraising, payments and donations will be processed and administered by the National Funding Scheme, operating as DONATE, a charity registered in England and Wales (1149800) and Scotland (SC045106). In addition to any text donation, you will incur your standard network message charge (based on your service provider rates). For Terms & Conditions, see www.easydonate.org