Lauriston Castle

Lauriston Castle

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Lauriston Castle

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Lauriston Castle is a 16th century tower house with 19th century extensions overlooking the Firth of Forth, in Edinburgh, Scotland.


The original tower house was built around 1590 by Sir Archibald Napier of Merchiston, the father of John Napier (1550–1617), the inventor of logarithms, for his younger son, also named Archibald. Later, it was the home of John Law (1671–1729), the economist, Right Hon. Andrew Lord Rutherfurd (1791–1854), and Thomas Macknight Crawfurd of Cartsburn and Lauriston Castle, 8th Baron of Cartsburn from 1871 to 1902. In 1827, Thomas Allan, a banker and mineralogist, commissioned William Burn (1789–1870) to extend the house in the Jacobean style.

William Reid, proprietor of Morison and Co., an Edinburgh cabinetmaking business, acquired Lauriston Castle in 1902, installed modern plumbing and electricity, and he and his wife Margaret filled the house with a collection of fine furniture and artwork. The Reids, being childless, left their home to Scotland on the condition that it should be preserved unchanged. The City of Edinburgh has administered the house since Mrs Reid's death in 1926, which today offers a fascinating glimpse of Edwardian life in a Scottish country house.

At some point during its numerous refurbishments, a stone carving of an astrological horoscope was installed in the outer wall, on the southwest corner. The horoscope was reputedly done by John Napier for his brother. It can be seen in some pictures on the front wall,...
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