Merchiston Castle School
|Type||Independent day and boarding|
|Headmaster||Andrew R Hunter|
|Deputy Headmaster||Peter Hall|
|Chairman of Governors||Malcolm Gourlay|
|Local authority||Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education
|Staff||90 full and part time|
|Colours||Navy, red & white|
|Publication||The Merchiston Messenger
Merchiston Castle School is an independent school for boys in the suburb of Colinton in Edinburgh, Scotland. It has around 470 pupils and is open to boys between the ages of 7 and 18 as either boarders or day pupils; it was modeled after English public schools. It is divided into Merchiston Juniors (ages 7–13), Middle Years (ages 13–16) and a Sixth Form.
In May 1833, Charles Chalmers took a lease of Merchiston Castle (the former home of John Napier, the inventor of logarithms) — which at that time stood in rural surroundings — and opened his academy, starting with thirty boys.
Over time, the number of pupils grew and the Merchiston Castle became too small to accommodate the school. In 1930, the governors decided to move the school to Colinton House four miles south-west of Edinburgh in Colinton.
Three years later, in 1933, Merchiston celebrated its centenary, attended by the Duke and Duchess of York. Fifty years on, in 1983, at a time of further expansion and with 350 boys on the roll, their daughter, now Queen Elizabeth II, visited the school for its 150th anniversary.
In 2014 81% of pupils achieved between A* and B at A Level.
Sports and games
A range of sports and activities is available at the school; particularly in rugby union, which over 60 Merchistonians have played at international level. The now defunct Merchistonian Football Club for former pupils of the School was a founder member of the Scottish Rugby Union and was involved in the very first rugby international, supplying three players. The former 1st XV coach, Frank Hadden, who was at the school from 1983-2000, was the head coach of the Scottish national team from 2005-2009. The school has won the Scottish Schools U18 Rugby Cup five times; 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008. Merchiston also participates, with the Edinburgh Academy, in the oldest continuous rugby union fixture in the world, the first being on 11 December 1858.
The houses are:
- Chalmers West
- Chalmers East
Sexual Harassment from the Faculty
Two previous staff members of the school are being investigated. According to Detective Inspector Morag Bruce, "Police in Edinburgh are carrying out enquiries into claims of historic abuse at Merchiston Castle School, which date back to the 1960s. "As a result of this ongoing investigation, two men, aged 62 and 69, have been charged and will appear at court at a later date." 
James Rainy Brown, a teacher at the school was accused of lewd comments to pupils. He committed suicide shortly after being notified of the allegations. 
Notes and references
- "Merchiston Castle School". Scottish Places. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- "Merchiston marks the arrival of Prince George". 14 November 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- "Top Scottish Independent Boys School". Retrieved 11 June 2015.
- Alex Gordon. "The first international rugby match". Retrieved 8 August 2011.
- Rugby Football History. "Historical Rugby Milestones 1870s". Retrieved 8 August 2011.
- Schools Rugby. "Scottish Schools Competitions". Retrieved 8 June 2011.
- Chris Thau. "The oldest running rugby fixture in the world". Retrieved 8 August 2011.
- "Key fact Sheet". Merchiston Castle School. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- Hutcheon, Paul (14 June 2015). "Two ex-staff charged amid abuse probe at top private school". Herald & Times Group. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
- Grant, Graham (20 May 2013). "Teacher Found Hanged". MailOnline. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
- Official School Website
- Profile on the ISC website
- UK Boarding Schools Guide Profile
- Merchiston Castle School's page on Scottish Schools Online
- Merchiston Castle School's page on The Good Schools Guide