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Clan Seats of Scotland – Merchiston Tower – Clan Napier

Merchiston Castle, Edinburgh – Clan Napier

Merchiston Tower - Clan Napier

Constructed during the 15th century, Merchiston Castle is the historical home of Clan Napier and a part of Edinburgh Napier University.

Also known as Merchiston Tower due to its L-plan tower design, the castle was constructed by the Napier family during the 1450s and is situated well within the boundaries of the modern city of Edinburgh. Of course, this would not be the case when the castle was first constructed, as it was then a part of the countryside and has eventually been swallowed up by the city’s urban sprawl.

It is for this reason that it was originally required to be heavily fortified, with six feet thick walls protecting it from a siege as enemy soldiers approached the capital. The tower would receive a visit from Mary, Queen of Scots, before being sold to a number of buyers until it was returned to the Napiers in 1752. Passing between another series of owners, the family would again receive control of the building in 1833, as they converted it into Merchiston Castle School, an independent boarding school for boys.

Continuing its tradition as an educational institution, it would then pass under the control of George Watson’s College, before being suggested as the site for a new technical college in 1956. Being converted in a very 1960s way, the tower would gain a concrete corridor on its right-wing as it was converted into the centrepiece of a campus that would eventually be given university status as Edinburgh Napier University in 1992.