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Lauriston Castle

Located 4 miles (6.5 km) WNW of central Edinburgh and less than a mile (1 km) southeast of Cramond village, Lauriston Castle is a 16th Century tower house with 19th Century extensions overlooking the Firth of Forth. 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. Later, it was the home of John Law (1671 - 1729), the dubious financier. In 1827, Thomas Allan, a banker and mineralogist, commissioned William Burn (1789 - 1870) to extend the house in the Jacobean style.

The last private owner, William Reid, acquired Lauriston in 1902, and installed modern plumbing and electricity while preserving the character of the house. He ran a cabinet-making firm and was an avid collector of fine furniture and objects d'art which fill the rooms. Reid and his wife decided to leave their home to the nation 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. It is particular noted for a collection of ornaments carved from banded mineral Blue John.


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