Woolmet House

Updated: Sep 11


c.1590

This is not Biggar Castle!

Woolmet House 1928

The mansion stands at the ancestral seat of Woolmet, in the softly rolling hills, four miles south of Edinburgh. The family lived there for the next 300 years. It would further appear that the castle was rebuilt or enlarged or repaired at least twice since it was built in the late 12th century. This date is also incorrect, there may have been a castle at one time or another.


Woolmet House was a large and impressive mansion built for Archibald Napier (1575-1600) around C as a wedding gift from his wealthy father Archibald Napier of Merchiston Castle (father of John Napier and Alexander Napier, Lord Laurieston ).


"A tower house was re-built around 1590 by Sir Archibald Napier of Merchiston, father of John Napier, for his first son by his second marriage, also named Archibald (1575–1600), known as Napier of Woolmet. Logically, this would be no earlier than 1596, the age of legal majority then being 21. There is no evidence that he ever occupied Lauriston Castle, and he was murdered in 1600 returning to his home, Woolmet House, south of Edinburgh. It is likely that Lauriston was instead occupied by William Napier (c.1577–1622), the second son of his second marriage. What is certain is that in 1622 the property was inherited by Alexander Napier (the third son of the second marriage) who four years later adopted the title “Lord Laurieston”. Lord Laurieston died in 1629, but the house continued to be occupied by his widow and three young children.'


The property was than purchased by the James Edmonstone and sold in 1673.


" In 1673 James Edmonstone sold Woolmet to Major John Biggar (m. Alisone Edmonstone), whose only child (also incorrect) married William Wallace, a nephew of Sir Thomas Wallace of Craigie, Lord Justice-Clerk. On uniting himself to the h