South Scotland

Sir Walter Scott's treasures go on tour

Sir Walter Scott's hat
Image caption Sir Walter Scott's top hat is among the items going on tour

A selection of historic items which belonged to Sir Walter Scott is being taken on a tour of the Borders while his former home is upgraded.

It includes Bonnie Prince Charlie's hunting knife, King James VI's hunting bottle and Sir Walter's own top hat.

The Scott on the Road exhibition includes 20 items from his historic home, Abbotsford House, near Melrose.

The house is currently undergoing a £10m overhaul which is due to be completed next year.

The historic objects from the house are touring venues in Hawick, Selkirk and Innerleithen.

Other items on display will include Scott's spectacles, portraits, a pair of 18th century Scottish pistols and an iron thumbscrew.

Dr Sandra McNeil, learning and engagement officer with the Abbotsford Trust, said: "Abbotsford will re-open next year following vital restoration work.

'Extraordinary collection'

"But while the doors are closed to visitors, we thought this would be an ideal opportunity to take some of the precious objects normally displayed in the house into the Borders community for residents to enjoy.

"It's a small sample of the collections gathered by Scott together with some of his personal effects and brief background on his life, his Abbotsford home and his links to the Borders."

Rosemary Hannay, of Scottish Borders Council museums service, said it was delighted to host an exhibition offering a "unique insight" into Scott.

"Several of the museums which will host the exhibition have close links with Sir Walter Scott, both as a writer and as a local sheriff," she said.

"We hope that both visitors and locals will take this opportunity to view some of the extraordinary collection held at Abbotsford."

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