Lauriston Castle, Cramond Road South, Edinburgh, EH4 5QD
Lauriston Castle is a tower house or ‘Scottish Keep’, constructed in 1593 and extended in 1827 and 1870. The aristocrat Sir Archibald Napier originally had it built as a home for his youngest son, also named Archibald.
The castle remains unchanged since its last owners left in 1926. William Robert Reid and his wife, donated their home to the Scottish authorities upon their deaths, on the condition they would preserve it the way it was. Frozen in time, the tower house allows visitors to see what a country house was really like in Edwardian times.
Entry to the castle includes a guided tour of the principal rooms – dining room, drawing room, bathroom, study and library. When possible they also open the kitchen up, showing the contrast between life ‘upstairs’ and ‘downstairs’. The interior was last decorated between 1902 and 1919, with sumptuous Eastern carpets and rugs, intricate line engravings and mezzotints, Crossley wool mosaics and southern Italian furniture. There is also a stunning collection of Blue John mineral on display.
Castle Grounds and Gardens
Within the grounds of the property there is a historic garden, designed by William Henry Playfair in the 1840s, with amazing views over the Firth of Forth and Cramond Island. There is also a lovely tranquil Japanese Friendship Garden, which Takashi Sawano added to the grounds in 2002.
Visit Lauriston Castle
It is free to enter the castle grounds and Japanese garden, but there is an admission fee for the tower house, which includes the guided tour. See the Edinburgh Museums website for more information.