West Lothian

Torphichen Inn
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Torphichen Inn

A village located 2 miles (3 km) north of Bathgate. Torphichen Preceptory, north of the village was the Scottish seat of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem. They were established in the 12th Century and their church was finished in the mid-13th century, some of it surviving today. The estate surrounding the church provided sanctuary ground to criminals and debtors. A cottage close to the site of the former Torphichen Mill was the birthplace of Henry Bell (1767 - 1830), who built the steamship Comet. Other buildings in Torphichen include the parish kirk (1756), and three mansions in various states of repair: Wallhouse (1840), Couston (early 17th-century), and Bridge (15th-century). To the west is Gowanbank (1842-62), the seat of architect Sir James Gowans (1821-90), was built around an early 19th-century farmhouse originally erected by his father.

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