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Exhibition National Museum of Scotland

Inspiring Walter Scott

6 Aug 2021 - 9 Jan 2022
10:00 - 16:30

Exhibition Gallery 4, Level 1

Free entry

On the 250th anniversary of Sir Walter Scott's birth, experience his novels through objects that inspired him.

In this small exhibition we show how Scott drew upon real historical objects for inspiration, placing objects alongside Scott's words, and the stories in which they feature. While you view these fascinating objects, you can listen to an actor reading extracts from these tales. 

The juxtaposition of real objects and Scott’s words will help us understand how these amazing material things were so intrinsic to Scott’s writing process.

Pair of gilt brass rowel spurs. The spur is designed like a star or a sharp snowflake shapePair of gilt brass rowel spurs worn by Auld Wat Scott of Harden which appear in Scott's poem The Reiver's Wedding.

A view of the open rectangular box-shaped clasp showing its internal mechanism. The mechanism is attached to three buttons on the top of the clasp.Sporran clasp with four concealed pistols, a model for that worn by Rob Roy MacGregor and described in Rob Roy.

Three decorated wine glasses. The glasses on the left and right have royal crests. The middle glass features a painted portrait of Bonnie Prince Charlie

Jacobite glasses of the type used to toast the exiled Stuart kings ‘Across the Water’, as featured in The Bride of Lammermuir.

Gold ornate crucifix with hanging pearl detailing

Crucifix reliquary enamelled and with pendant baroque pearls. 

Walter Scott 250

Share your exhibition thoughts and highlights on social media using #WalterScott250 

In association with Walter Scott 250: Celebrating 250 Years of Scotland’s Greatest Storyteller.


Getting here

National Museum of Scotland
Chambers Street


Map and directions


We want everyone who comes to our museums to enjoy their time with us and make the most of their visit. 


  • There is level access to the Museum via the main doors to the Entrance Hall on Chambers Street and the Tower entrance at the corner of Chambers Street and George IV Bridge. 
  • Lifts are available to all floors and accessible toilets are available on most floors, as well as a Changing Places (U) toilet in the Entrance Hall on Level 0.
  • There is an induction loop in the Auditorium.
  • Guide dogs, hearing dogs and other recognised assistance dogs are admitted.


Find out more about our access information.

Header image: Sir Walter Scott with his two Dandie Dinmonts, full length on a hilltop above the valley of the Tweed and the Eldon Hills, by Sir William Allan. ‘Sir Walter Scott, 1771 - 1832. Novelist and poet’, c. 1844, PG 1366 © National Galleries of Scotland. Given by the Art Fund (London Scot Bequest) 1938


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