Temple, Midlothian

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Temple, Midlothian.jpg
Looking northwards down the village street
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Location within Midlothian
OS grid reference NT315587
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district EH23
Dialling code 01875
Police Scotland
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
55°49′01″N3°05′35″W / 55.817°N 3.093°W / 55.817; -3.093 Coordinates: 55°49′01″N3°05′35″W / 55.817°N 3.093°W / 55.817; -3.093

Temple (Scottish Gaelic : Baile nan Trodach) [1] is a village and civil parish in Midlothian, Scotland. Situated to the south of Edinburgh, the village lies on the east bank of the river South Esk.

Civil parishes are small divisions used for statistical purposes and formerly for local government in Scotland.

Midlothian Council area of Scotland

Midlothian is a historic county, registration county, lieutenancy area and one of 32 council areas of Scotland used for local government. Midlothian lies in the east-central Lowlands, bordering the City of Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders.

Edinburgh Capital city in Scotland

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and one of its 32 council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian, it is located in Lothian on the Firth of Forth's southern shore.


The civil parish has a population of 225 (in 2011). [2]


The name "Temple" refers to its historical connection to the Knights Templar. It was known anciently as "Balantrodach", from the Scottish Gaelic Baile nan Trodach, which means "town of the warriors", again a reference to the Knights Templar.

Knights Templar Western Christian military order; medieval Catholic military order

The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, also known as the Order of Solomon's Temple, the Knights Templar or simply the Templars, were a Catholic military order founded in 1119 and recognised in 1139 by the papal bull Omne datum optimum. The order was active until 1312 when it was perpetually suppressed by Pope Clement V by the bull Vox in excelso.

Scottish Gaelic Celtic language native to Scotland

Scottish Gaelic or Scots Gaelic, sometimes also referred to simply as Gaelic, is a Goidelic language of the Celtic and Indo-European language family, native to the Gaels of Scotland. As a Goidelic language, Scottish Gaelic, like Modern Irish and Manx, developed out of Middle Irish. It became a distinct spoken language sometime in the 13th century, although a common literary language was shared by Gaels in both Ireland and Scotland down to the 16th century. Most of modern Scotland was once Gaelic-speaking, as evidenced especially by Gaelic-language placenames.



Historically the Parish of Temple was divided into three portions, the ancient parish of Clerkington, and the chapelries of Moorfoot and Balantrodach. Clerkington was a parsonage held by the monks of Newbattle Abbey, Moorfoot was a chapelry founded by monks from the same institution. Balantrodach on the other hand, was a chapelry of the Knights Templar.

A chapelry was a subdivision of an ecclesiastical parish in England and parts of Lowland Scotland up to the mid 19th century.

Newbattle Abbey abbey in Midlothian, Scotland, UK

Newbattle Abbey was a Cistercian monastery near the village of Newbattle in Midlothian, Scotland, which subsequently become a stately home and then an educational institution.

Knights Templar

Temple Church Temple Midlothian Templechurch-wyrdlight.jpg
Temple Church Temple Midlothian

In 1128, Hugues de Payens, the first Grand Master, met with David I in Scotland and was granted the lands of Balantrodach. [3] [4] In 1128, the Council of Troyes formally recognized the Order. Balantrodach became their principal Templar seat and preceptory in Scotland until the suppression of the order between 1307 and 1312. As Temple, being just to the south of the Firth of Forth, was an area of the country occupied by England at this time, knights were prosecuted, but not all were found guilty. [5] Nearby to the north, politics was even more on their side Robert the Bruce had been excommunicated, and so was not required to follow papal commands , and at war with England, it has been suggested that he may have been welcoming to powerful and desperate allies. [6]

Hugues de Payens Grand Master of the Knights Templar

Hugues de Payens or Payns was the co-founder and first Grand Master of the Knights Templar. In association with Bernard of Clairvaux, he created the Latin Rule, the code of behavior for the Order.

David I of Scotland King of Scotland

David I or Dauíd mac Maíl Choluim was a 12th-century ruler who was Prince of the Cumbrians from 1113 to 1124 and later King of Scotland from 1124 to 1153. The youngest son of Malcolm III and Margaret of Wessex, David spent most of his childhood in Scotland, but was exiled to England temporarily in 1093. Perhaps after 1100, he became a dependent at the court of King Henry I. There he was influenced by the Anglo-French culture of the court.

Kingdom of Scotland Historic sovereign kingdom in the British Isles from the 9th century to 1707

The Kingdom of Scotland was a sovereign state in northwest Europe traditionally said to have been founded in 843. Its territories expanded and shrank, but it came to occupy the northern third of the island of Great Britain, sharing a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England. It suffered many invasions by the English, but under Robert I it fought a successful War of Independence and remained an independent state throughout the late Middle Ages. In 1603, James VI of Scotland became King of England, joining Scotland with England in a personal union. In 1707, the two kingdoms were united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain under the terms of the Acts of Union. Following the annexation of the Northern Isles from the Kingdom of Norway in 1472 and final capture of the Royal Burgh of Berwick by the Kingdom of England in 1482, the territory of the Kingdom of Scotland corresponded to that of modern-day Scotland, bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the southwest.

Following 1312 and the Papal bull (edict) entitled Ad providam , King Edward II of England abolished the Templars in both England and Scotland. According to the edict, all Knight Templar property was to be seized and handed over to the control of the Knights Hospitaller, who had a preceptory at Torphichen in West Lothian. Although he was located in Scotia, north of the Firth of Forth, Robert the Bruce, being under interdict at the time, was reluctant to do so. [5]

Papal bull Type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church

A papal bull is a type of public decree, letters patent, or charter issued by a pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the leaden seal (bulla) that was traditionally appended to the end in order to authenticate it.

An edict is a decree or announcement of a law, often associated with monarchism, but it can be under any official authority. Synonyms include dictum and pronouncement.

<i>Ad providam</i> papal bull

Ad providam was the name of a Papal Bull issued by Pope Clement V in 1312. It built on a previous bull, Vox in excelso, which had disbanded the order of the Knights Templar. Ad providam essentially handed over all Templar assets to the Hospitallers, with the exception of some resources which were left to provide pensions to some Templars who had escaped execution and converted to a monastic life.

Many Templar Knights may have assimilated within the Hospitallers. But it's not necessarily the case that the Templars everywhere immediately ceased to be. Indeed, North of the Firth, in Scotland the Order combined with the Hospitallers and continued as The Order of St John and the Temple until the reformation. [7]

"Legend has it that treasure of the Knights Templar was removed secretly from Paris, to be hidden in Temple. A local legend states: 'Twixt the oak and the elm tree/You will find buried the millions free.' French legends about the Templar treasure apparently also state that the treasure was taken to Scotland, with the knights landing on the Isle of May, the first island they would encounter in the Firth of Forth. Geographically, this would take them to the mouth of the river Esk, which could take them on to Rosslyn..." [5]


Following the Reformation the present parish was formed from the three older divisions. In 1618, it took its name Temple from the preceptory chapel which had by then become the parish kirk.

In the following centuries Temple became a bustling agricultural village, but in recent years it has become a dormitory village for nearby Edinburgh. The current Church was funded by Thomas Creak whose family were leading figures in Temple in the 1820/30s and earlier. The family owned two houses in Temple but also owned a large farming property in Eccles, Berwickshire.

Mansion houses

Temple has two large houses in the vicinity:

Notable residents


  1. Iain Mac an Tàilleir. "Placenames" (PDF). Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 28 November 2011.
  2. Census of Scotland 2011, Table KS101SC – Usually Resident Population, publ. by National Records of Scotland. Web site http://www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk/ retrieved March 2016. See "Standard Outputs", Table KS101SC, Area type: Civil Parish 1930
  3. Transactions of the Scottish Ecclesiological Society, Volume 4, page 13 (Scottish Ecclesiological Society, 1913)
  4. Lord, Evelyn (2013). Knights Templar in Britain. Routledge paperback. p. 185. ISBN   978-1-4058-0163-8.
  5. 1 2 3 "Excursions from Rosslyn Chapel". The Stone Puzzle of Rosslyn Chapel. philipcoppens.com. Retrieved 23 October 2007.
  6. http://heritage.scotsman.com/timelines.cfm?cid=1&id=41752005
  7. Scottish Knights Templar

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