On July 4, 2013, Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford home in the Scottish Borders re-opened to the public after it underwent a multi-million-pound restoration. Queen Elizabeth II toured Abbotsford on July 3rd. Dame Jean Maxwell Scott, Sir Walter Scott's last descendent to reside in his home, died in 2004.
The building had begun to deteriorate by then. Between repairs to the building and equally necessary conservation of artifacts – his collections of antique furniture, arms and armor, and tapestries – the estate needed £12,000,000 worth of repairs.
The Abbotsford Trust raised £10,600,000 so far and hopes to raise another £4,600,000. While the author’s home underwent restoration, approximately 13,500 items that had belonged to him were put in storage, including his library of 9,000 volumes and 400 pieces of arms and armor.
The Scottish poet, novelist, and playwright Sir Walter Scott (1772-1832), 1st Baronet, was one of the first English-language authors to develop an international following within his lifetime. His historical novels include Rob Roy, published in 1817; Ivanhoe, published in 1818; and The Bride of Lammermoor, published in 1819.
He is also famous because in 1818 he led a group that recovered the lost Honours of Scotland (Scottish Crown Jewels), which had been hidden away in Edinburgh Castle. Scott named his estate Abbotsford in honor of a Roman road near his property that was used in Medieval and early modern times by the abbots of Melrose Abbey.