Biel House is a 19th century mansion which incorporates a tower house with vaulted basement.
The first castle may have been built here in the 13th century and was a property of the Earls of Dunbar. During the reign of Robert III, in the late 14th or early 15th century, the fourth son of George de Dunbar, 10th Earl of Dunbar and March, was
Patrick de Dunbar of Biel. Patrick may have been the same Patrick Home, described as a son of the Earl of Home, who appears in a fable regarding the Anstruthers of Anstruther.
Sir William Anstruther is said to have lived at Dreel Castle in Anstruther with his daughter, Margaret, his son being at the court of Robert. Margaret is said to have fallen in love with the 22 year old Patrick Home, whose ancestor had supposedly killed Sir William’s grandfather on the Firth of Forth. The story goes that Sir William was in dispute with a neighbouring laird who seems to have had intentions regarding Margaret of which Sir William did not approve leading him to insult the laird. This prompted the laird to devise a plot to kill his neighbour.
The laird invited Sir William and Margaret to his house but a wandering beggar got wind of the plan and informed Sir William who then invited the laird to Dreel instead. When he arrived Sir William hit him over the head with an axe and killed him. Sir William vowed to repay the beggar’s kindness in warning him of the danger and did so by offering his daughter’s hand in marriage, at which point the beggar is supposed to have cast off his disguise to reveal himself to be Patrick Home.
The property was significantly remodelled and extended to the west in the 1760s, the east wing of the new house incorporating part of the old Biel Castle, and to the east by William Atkinson between 1814 and 1818. Almost all of Atkinson’s additions were removed in 1952 and the property has now been converted into flats.
Alternative names for Biel House
Beil House; Beill