A castle has stood on this site at Cramond since medieval times, but after its almost total destruction it was rebuilt in 1590 and later extended.
The last private owner of Lauriston Castle was William Reid who purchased it at the beginning of the 20th century. Reid owned a highly regarded cabinet making business in Edinburgh and he and his wife installed modern amenities and filled the building with fine furniture and artworks.
The castle is now in the care of the City of Edinburgh and, as it remains as it was on Mrs Reid’s death in 1926, gives a fascinating glimpse into upper class Edwardian life in a country house in Scotland.
The extensive grounds, which contain a bluebell wood and three croquet lawns, look out over the Firth of Forth. In more recent times (2002) the garden saw a new addition – a Japanese garden built by Takashi Sawano. The Edinburgh-Kyoto Friendship Garden is called the Castle Garden of Water to Beyond.
Many Japanese trees and shrubs fare well in Scottish gardens, as do those from the Himalayas, so the little taster of Japan with its water, raked gravel, standing stones and stone lanterns, wooden bridge and benches, cherry blossom and careful planting of shrubs and greenery sits well in its setting by the old castle and the Forth.