Wormiston House is a 17th century L-plan tower house and the property was owned by the Spence family from the 14th century.
Around 1527 Elizabeth Spence, daughter of Thomas Spence of Wormiston, married John Anstruther of Anstruther. In 1575 their grandson, also John Anstruther of Anstruther, married his second wife, Margaret Learmonth, daughter of Sir James Learmonth of Dairsie and Balcomie and widow of Sir David Spence of Wormiston.
Towards the end of the 16th century an attempt was made to settle the Western Isles with people from Fife loyal to the Crown. The islands were considered to be a wild and untamed part of the Scottish kingdom at this time, an almost lawless fiefdom of the MacLeods of Lewis. In order to reassert the King’s control over the islands an Act of Parliament was passed in 1597 requiring chiefs to present their titles to the Lords of the Exchequer on Whitsunday in 1598 and to provide security for any rents owed to the Crown. When the chiefs of Lewis, Harris, Dunvegan and Glenelg failed to produce their titles their estates were declared forfeited.
Lewis was granted to a company of adventurers from Fife which included Sir James Anstruther, younger, of Anstruther, Sir Patrick Leslie, Commendator of Lindores, Sir William Stewart, Commendator of Pittenweem, James Learmonth, younger, of Balcomie and James Spence of Wormiston, led by Ludovic Stewart, 2nd Duke of Lennox, who was later involved in the Plantation of Ulster and the colonisation of New England. They set out for Lewis in October 1599 on an ill-fated expedition to colonise the island hampered by the weather, disease and conflict with the MacLeods.
Alternative names for Wormistoune House
Weirmestoun; Wilmerstoun; Wirmestoun; Wolmerstoun; Wormiston House; Wormistone; Wormistoun; Wylmerstoun