18th C. Memorial and the Old Parish Church, Temple
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

18th C. Memorial and the Old Parish Church, Temple

A village lying on the steep banks of the River South Esk in Midlothian, lying 2½ miles (4 km) southwest of Gorebridge. The village takes its name from the Knights Templar, who had their Scottish base here between the middle of the 12th Century and their suppression in the early 14th C.

The old parish church may date back to the 12th C., but is more likely built by the Knights of St. John soon after they succeeded the Templars in 1312. The inscription VÆSAC MIHM on the gable-end tends to confirm this. It has been translated as Vienne Sacrum Concilium Militibus Johannis Hierosolymitani Melitensibus or "The Sacred Council of Vienne, to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem and Malta". While the church lies roofless and abandoned, the kirkyard contains a number of fine 18th Century memorials, including one to the Rev. James Goldie which includes his last will and testament! The 'new' parish church (1832) lies opposite, but has now been converted into a private house. Elevated above the river is the main part of the village, consisting of mostly 18th Century cottages along a single street. The painter Sir William Gillies (1898 - 1973) lived at No. 14 and this fact is commemorated by a plaque.

Nearby to the northeast is Arniston House and to the southwest is Rosebery House.

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