Photographer's Note

Friday 13 October, 1307 is a famous date in history and a date which is responsible for the common superstition about any Friday 13th. On that day, Philip IV, King of France, arrested hundreds of Knights Templar in France. Philip had been determined to destoy the Templars since 1302, not because of the global mythology that has since grown up around the Knights Templar, but simply that, as one of the wealthiest organisations in Europe, the Templars had turned down a demand from Philip for a loan he needed to further his military adventures.

By 1312, Philip had managed to convince Pope Clement V that the Order should be suppressed worldwide and throughout Europe many Templars were executed and their lands and properties seized, in many cases being transferred to the Knights Hospitaller of the Order of St John of Jerusalem.

But in Scotland, things were slightly different and King Robert the Bruce, himself having been excommunicated by the Catholic Church for the murder of John Comyn (at the time a fellow contender for the Scottish throne) in 1306 before the high altar of the church in Dumfries, was more sympathetic to the Templar's cause and was disinclined to follow a papal edict to have them removed. As a result, in Scotland there was little or no persecution of them although their assets and properties were transferred to those of the Knights of St. John and many Templars themselves simply became Knights of St. John.

Since they had first been established in Scotland by David I in 1153, the main Scottish base of the Knights Templar had been 15 miles south of Edinburgh at a place called "Balantradoch". During the 1500s Balantradoch came to be known as "Temple", reflecting its earlier history. The original settlement itself has largely disappeared from this site though the church and a few other buildings remain: the main village of Temple now lies about half a mile distant and uphill from here.

This is the ruin of the Old Parish Church in the original village, dating from the early 14th Century and, as such, probably dating from the time of the Knights of St. John rather than the Knights Templar, though there is evidence of an earlier, possibly 12th Century, church beaneath it. Taken from within the roofless remains, this is the east window and east gable which bears a small 17th Century belfry.

Through the window you can see one or two of the interesting gravestones which surround the church and I shall post a picture of one of those as a workshop.

This picture was taken during a TE meeting with friends in southern Scotland in October and you can see other members' photographs of this church here, here and here.

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Additional Photos by John Cannon (tyro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1811 W: 411 N: 6535] (26470)
  • South Lanarkshire photo
  • Dumfries and Galloway photo
  • Perth and Kinross photo
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