Napier History Museum
MIS has built a historical museum in Napier Hall.
On the walls of the school buildings, illustrated information panels have been hung in prominent places, giving details of the history of that particular building or room, such as when it was built, the function for which it was designed, who was responsible for its creation, and how its function might have changed in the course of its existence.
Many of Merchiston's buildings are named after people who have played a significant role in the School's history, and so the panels explain who the person was and give details of that person's contribution to the life of the School.
We very much hope that this booklet of all the panels will give you a fuller understanding of the history of Merchiston Castle School, and provide a useful source of information for future generations of Merchiston pupils, staff and visitors.
Who is Napier?
Napier's birthplace was within the medieval tower house of Merchiston Castle, Edinburgh, which was the original site of Merchiston Castle School. Today this building forms part of Napier University.
Napier became famous for his invention of logarithms. This new method of calculation allowed people to solve long, laborious arithmetical problems much more quickly and easily. He invented a portable calculating tool known as 'Napier's Bones.'
Schools and workplaces universally used Napier's logarithmic tables right up to the 1970s when electric pocket calculators were widely adopted. He is, therefore, the father of the slide-rule and the grandfather of today's calculators.