Knights Templar West Lothian (Linlithgowshire)

The Knights Templar of West Lothian, also known as the Order of the Temple and Linlithgowshire, is a religious military order founded by the Catholic Church in the 12th century. The order was created to protect pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land and to defend Christianity during the Crusades. The Templars have long been an important part of West Lothian’s history and culture, and have left a lasting legacy in Linlithgowshire. Their presence in the area is still celebrated today, with many monuments, churches, and other sites dedicated to them throughout West Lothian. The Knights Templar were a religious order of knights founded in the 12th century in Jerusalem. In Scotland, the first recorded presence of the Templars was in 1160 when they received land grants from King Malcolm IV. The Templars were granted land in West Lothian (Linlithgowshire) around 1170, and they built a Preceptory there around 1220. The Preceptory was located at Temple, near the village of Torphichen, and it was used by the Templars as a base for their operations throughout Scotland.

The Templars also owned land around Linlithgow, including at Breich and Linlithgow Palace, but their main base remained at Torphichen. The Templars held these lands until the suppression of the Order in 1307 when all their properties were seized by King Edward I of England. After that, their lands passed to other orders of knights such as the Knights Hospitallers and the Order of St John.

Today, there are still some visible remains of the Templars’ presence in West Lothian (Linlithgowshire). The ruins of Torphichen Preceptory are still visible today and are open to visitors. There is also a Templar Cross on display at Linlithgow Palace, which is believed to have been brought from Jerusalem by Sir William St Clair when he returned from his pilgrimage there in 1330. This is a reminder of how important West Lothian was to the Knights Templar during their time in Scotland.

The Foundation of the Order of the Knights Templar

The Order of the Knights Templar was founded in 1118 by Hugh de Payens and eight other French knights. They were a group of warriors who vowed to protect pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land during the Crusades. The Order soon became well known throughout Europe and had many wealthy patrons, including King Baldwin II, who granted them a headquarters in Jerusalem. They also had a number of other properties throughout Europe and the Middle East, where they stored their wealth and provided refuge for pilgrims.

The Knights Templar were known for their strict code of conduct and dedication to their faith. They took vows of poverty, obedience, and chastity, which allowed them to focus solely on protecting pilgrims and fighting in the name of God. The Order was organized into chapters, each with its own commander and a council of twelve knights. The Grand Master was elected by these councils from among themselves.

The Knights Templar quickly became one of the most powerful organizations in Europe during the Middle Ages. They were respected by both Christians and Muslims alike for their courage and commitment to justice. Over time, however, they began to be seen as a threat by some European monarchs who felt threatened by their power and wealth. In 1307, King Philip IV of France arrested many members of the Order on false charges in an attempt to gain control over their wealth and properties. The Order was eventually disbanded in 1312 by Pope Clement V due to pressure from various European monarchs. Despite this, however, their legacy as powerful warriors dedicated to protecting pilgrims remains today.

The Role of the Knights Templar in West Lothian (Linlithgowshire)

The Knights Templar were a powerful and influential force in medieval Europe, and they had a significant impact on West Lothian (Linlithgowshire). The Templar’s presence in the area was first noted in 1129, when they were granted land at Linlithgow by King David I. This land was used to build a castle and monastery, and these became important centers of power and influence for the Templars in the region.

The Templars had a major economic impact on the area, as their presence allowed for trade between local towns and cities. They also encouraged agricultural development throughout Linlithgowshire, as they provided resources to farmers. In addition, the Templars also built roads throughout the region, improving transportation and communication between towns.

In addition to their economic influence, the Templars had an important role in politics as well. They assisted King David I in his campaigns against rival Scottish clans, providing both financial support and military assistance. They also provided protection for travelers between England and Scotland during times of conflict. The Knights Templar also played an important role in defending Linlithgow during the Wars of Scottish Independence.

The Knights Templar remained influential in West Lothian until their dissolution by Pope Clement V in 1312. Despite this, they left a lasting legacy on the area that can still be seen today. Their presence led to increased economic growth and development throughout Linlithgowshire, as well as improved transportation infrastructure. Furthermore, their military assistance helped to ensure peace between rival clans during times of unrest. The legacy of the Knights Templar is still evident today throughout West Lothian (Linlithgowshire).

The Decline of the Knights Templar in West Lothian (Linlithgowshire)

The Knights Templar, a religious order of warrior-monks that began in the 12th century, played an important role in Scotland’s history and had a presence in West Lothian (Linlithgowshire) for centuries. However, over time their influence declined and they eventually disappeared from the region.

The Templars were formed in 1118 during the Crusades to protect pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land. They quickly gained power and influence, becoming one of the most powerful military orders in Europe. In Scotland, they were granted land and privileges by King David I, including a large estate near Linlithgow. This became their base for operations in Scotland and they maintained a presence there for centuries.

However, by the mid-14th century their power had begun to wane. The Templars were charged with heresy by Pope Clement V in 1312 and disbanded shortly afterwards. This was a devastating blow which wiped out much of their wealth and power.

In Scotland, the Templars’ decline meant that their lands were gradually taken over by other orders such as the Hospitallers or sold off to wealthy landowners. The once powerful order was reduced to obscurity as it faded from memory over time.

Today there are few physical reminders of the Knights Templar’s presence in West Lothian (Linlithgowshire). The ruins of Temple House near Linlithgow can still be seen, but it is now owned by private individuals and is not open to visitors. There are also some minor references to them scattered across local records and documents, but nothing that gives us an insight into their lives or activities during their time there.

It is clear that while the Knights Templar left a lasting legacy on Scotland’s history, their influence has all but vanished from West Lothian (Linlithgowshire). The Order may have been gone for centuries now but its memory still lingers on – a reminder of its once powerful presence in this region of Scotland.

Monumental Evidence of the Presence of the Knights Templar in West Lothian (Linlithgowshire)

The presence of the Knights Templar in West Lothian (Linlithgowshire) is well documented throughout history, with evidence of their presence being found in a variety of monumental forms. The most famous example is the Temple at Linlithgow, which was originally built as a chapel for the Knights Templar in 1334. This majestic building stands as testament to their power and influence in the area at that time.

In addition to this, several other monuments provide evidence of their presence in West Lothian. For example, a number of gravestones can be found in local cemeteries with inscriptions indicating they belonged to members of the Knights Templar. Furthermore, a number of churches throughout Linlithgowshire contain carvings and symbols associated with the order.

The Knights Templar also left behind several other monuments which attest to their influence in West Lothian. One such example is St Cuthbert’s Tower at Falkirk, which is believed to have been built by them during the 13th century. Other examples include various standing stones and crosses located around the region which are believed to have been erected by them as markers for important sites or locations.

In addition to these physical monuments, there are also numerous documents which provide evidence of their activities in West Lothian during this period. These include records of land grants and transfers made by them, as well as charters issued by local authorities granting them special privileges and rights within Linlithgowshire.

Overall, there is a wealth of evidence available which attests to the presence and activities of the Knights Templar in West Lothian during medieval times. From monumental buildings and carvings through to documents and legal records, there are many tangible sources available which demonstrate this important part that they played within this region’s history.

The Knights Templar in West Lothian (Linlithgowshire)

The Knights Templar, also known as the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, were a religious and military order active in West Lothian (Linlithgowshire) in the 12th and 13th centuries. They were founded to protect pilgrims on their way to visit the Holy Land, but over time they grew in power and influence. The Templars had a strong presence in West Lothian, with several major castles and abbeys located there. The most famous is the Abbey of Holyrood, which was founded by King David I of Scotland in 1128.


The influence of the Knights Templar was felt throughout West Lothian during their period of activity. They had a major impact on local politics, economics, culture and religion. They were also influential in providing support to those who needed it most; for example, they provided food and shelter to pilgrims who were travelling through the area.


The legacy of the Knights Templar can still be seen today throughout West Lothian. Many of the castles and abbeys that they built still stand today as monuments to their presence there. Furthermore, there are many cultural references to them that remain from this period; for example, Linlithgow Palace is said to have been built on top of an old Templar fortification, and many local place-names reference them too. In addition, some local festivals still take inspiration from Templar traditions.

Notable Members of The Knights Templar in West Lothian (Linlithgowshire)

West Lothian (Linlithgowshire) is home to some of the most notable members of the Knights Templar, a medieval Christian military order. The order was founded in the 12th century and served as an elite fighting force during the Crusades. Some of its most famous members hail from West Lothian, including William Sinclair, who was appointed Grand Master of the Order in 1295. He is believed to have been born at Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh in 1245 and is credited with founding Rosslyn Castle in 1299.

Another important member of the Knights Templar from West Lothian was Sir John de St Clair, who was the first Lord St Clair in Scotland. He fought alongside King Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn and is credited with building Roslin Castle. He also served as a commissioner for King James II and was given the responsibility of keeping peace between Lowland Scotland and England.

Sir William Sinclair, great-grandson of William Sinclair, was also a notable member of the Order. He fought alongside Robert Bruce at Bannockburn and later became Grand Master of the Order. He is credited with establishing several religious institutions, including St Mary’s College in Edinburgh.

The Knights Templar were influential throughout Europe during their peak years and some members continue to live on today through their descendants across Europe, particularly in West Lothian (Linlithgowshire). Their legacy lives on through their architecture, artwork, gravesites and other monuments that can be found throughout Scotland today.

Acquisition of Significant Land Holdings in West Lothian

The Knights Templar were an influential religious and military order during the Middle Ages, and they had a considerable presence in West Lothian (Linlithgowshire) as well. As part of their mission to protect pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land, the Templars acquired significant landholdings in Linlithgowshire. These holdings included several manors and estates, as well as numerous churches and chapels in the area. The Templars’ acquisition of these lands helped to ensure their financial stability, as they could rely on the income generated by these properties to help finance their operations. In addition, the Templar presence in Linlithgowshire provided them with a strategic base from which they could launch military campaigns against their enemies.

The Templars’ landholdings in Linlithgowshire were comprised of several manors, each with its own set of rights and privileges. These rights included hunting rights, fishing rights, and grazing rights; they also had exclusive access to certain areas for timber harvesting or mining activities. The manors also had control over taxation within their jurisdictions; this allowed them to generate income from taxes paid by local citizens or merchants who frequented their lands. The Templars also had control over justice within their manors; this enabled them to dispense justice according to their own laws and regulations.

The Knights Templar’s acquisition of landholdings in West Lothian was an important part of their mission to protect pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land. Through these holdings, they were able to provide financial stability for themselves while maintaining a strategic presence in Linlithgowshire. Their landholdings provided them with access to timber resources, grazing areas for livestock, hunting grounds, fishing waters, and exclusive access to certain areas for mining activities; all of which helped them generate income that could then be used for military operations or other purposes. In addition, these holdings allowed them control over taxation and justice within their manors; this gave them considerable influence over local affairs in Linlithgowshire during the Middle Ages.

Last Thoughts

The Knights Templar of West Lothian played an important part in the history of Scotland and Europe. Their legacy is still felt today, with many of their attacks on castles and fortifications still standing as monuments to their power and influence. They were a feared and respected force during the Middle Ages, and they continue to be remembered for their courage and dedication to their cause.

The Templars had a great impact on the economy and politics of Scotland, as well as its culture. Their presence was felt from Linlithgowshire to Edinburgh, with strong ties between these two areas that remain to this day. The Templars also left behind many artefacts that can still be seen in museums throughout Scotland.

The Knights Templar of West Lothian are an important part of Scotland’s history, and their legacy will continue to be remembered for years to come. From their humble beginnings in the 12th century, the Templars have left an indelible mark on the country’s history, culture, economy, and politics. They remain one of Scotland’s most influential forces from the Middle Ages onwards.

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