History in Structure

Temple Village, Old Temple Kirk (Church of the Knights Templars of Balantrodoch) Including Boundary Wall and Gatepiers

A Category B Listed Building in Temple, Midlothian

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Latitude: 55.8169 / 55°49'0"N

Longitude: -3.0943 / 3°5'39"W

OS Eastings: 331526

OS Northings: 658720

OS Grid: NT315587

Mapcode National: GBR 61T5.WN

Mapcode Global: WH6TF.F2R1

Plus Code: 9C7RRW84+P7

Entry Name: Temple Village, Old Temple Kirk (Church of the Knights Templars of Balantrodoch) Including Boundary Wall and Gatepiers

Listing Date: 22 January 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 348036

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB14621

Building Class: Cultural

Also known as: Temple, Old Parish Church

ID on this website: 200348036

Location: Temple

County: Midlothian

Electoral Ward: Midlothian South

Parish: Temple

Traditional County: Midlothian

Tagged with: Church building

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Late 13th century. Single bay, rectangular plan church, roof no longer in place. Coursed sandstone ashlar to E and S; sandstone rubble to W; snecked sandstone rubble to N; polished dressings. Base course and string course, except to W end of church; cavetto eaves course to lateral walls. Predominantly traceried pointed arched windows; hoodmoulds with carved drip stones; chamfered reveals. Gabletted angle buttresses to E. Stone skews with gabletted skewputts to E gable.

W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: rebuilt in 17th century using old stone. Symmetrical; single bay; gabled. Round arched doorway to centre of ground; window in gablehead above. Carved stone cross finial to apex, restored 1984.

S ELEVATION: asymmetrical; 4 bay. Bay to outer left rebuilt in 17th century; single rectangular window opening; round arched opening to penultimate bay to left. Penultimate bay to right and bay right divided by gabletted buttress; window with carved hoodmould to each bay; flat arched door way to outer right.

E ELEVATION: symmetrical; single bay. Large window to centre; flanked by wall monument to Charles Hitchener of Stobsmills dated 1831; circular recess set in gablehead. Simple, square plan 17th century bellcote (bell now on Temple Parish Church/Shillinghill see separate listing) inscribed "V?SAC MIHM"; vertical groove from bell pull.

N ELEVATION: asymmetrical, 5 bay. Square headed window openings to centre and outer right bays; narrow pointed arched opening to penultimate bay to right; low trefoil arched doorway recessed in pointed arch to penultimate bay to left; window to outer left flanked by remains of broad buttress to left.

INTERIOR: rubble lined. Roll moulded arches. Remains of 2 sedilia with trefoil heads to centre of S elevation; doorway flanked by piscina to right. Segmental arched late 14th century tomb recess to right of doorway of N elevation.

BOUNDARY WALL AND GATEPIERS: rubble boundary wall to E, N and W with predominantly rubble coping, semi circular to W of N wall. Polished ashlar gatepiers with pyramidal caps to E of N wall; opening towards W, and coped rubble gatepiers W of N wall.

Statement of Interest

SCHEDULED MONUMENT. This picturesque ruin, conserved in the early 1980's by Simpson and Brown of Edinburgh, is rich in history. Temple Village takes it's name from the Knights Templars whose Headquarters it was from the early 12th century (the first reference being in a charter of 1175-99), it only became known as such in about 1570, being originally called Balintrode or Balantrodach. The Order of the Temple was founded to protect pilgrims in the Holy Land, and the Knights were given land in England and Scotland as a reward. However, the style and details of the church, as is suggested by McWilliam (p446), suggest that it is of the late 13th or early 14th century. The incription "V?SAC MIHM" on the E gable below the bellcote seems to be a mystery. It has been suggested that it could stand for "Vienne Sacrum Militibus Johannis Hierosolymitani Mletensibus" (The Sacred Council of Vienne, to the Knights of St. John of jerusalem and Malta), or alternatively "Virgin ?des Sacra Matri Jesu Hominum Mediatoris" (Church Sacred to the Virgin, Mother of Jesus, Mediator of Men). In 1312 the Order was suppressed, and the lands were given to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, whose good work was funded by the residents of Temple who gave them one tenth of their income.

Amended Scheduled Area 29 October 1999, No 1191.

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