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A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Temple, a village and a parish in the S of Edinburghshire. The village stands, 605 feet above sea-level, on the right bank of the South Esk, 3 miles SW of Gorebridge station, 7 S by W of Dalkeith, and 12¼ SSE of Edinburgh. It is a quiet, sequestered, little place, with a post office under Gorebridge.

The parish is bounded NE by Borthwick, SE by Heriot, S and SW by Innerleithen and Eddleston in Peeblesshire, and NW by Penicuik and Carrington. Its. utmost length, from N by E to S by W, is 81/8 miles; its utmost breadth is 55/8 miles; and the area is 22½ square miles or 14,478¾ acres, of which 228 lie detached, and contain the greater part of Gorebridge village. The river South Esk, rising at an altitude of 1700 feet on the western slope of Blackhope Scar, winds 97/8 miles north-by-eastward through all the length of the parish, and quits it at the influx of Fullarton or Redside Burn, which traces all the north-western border. In the extreme N the surface declines to 590 feet above the sea; and chief elevations to the E of the South Esk, as one goes up the vale, are Cockmoor (990 feet), *Torfichen Hill (1508), *Mauldslie Hill (1684), Huntly Cot Hill (1694), the Kipps (1776), and *Blackhope Scar (2136), the loftiest of the Moorfoot Hills; to the W, Toxside Moss (900), *Jeffries Corse (2004), and *Bowbeat Hill (2049), where asterisks mark those summits that culminate on the confines of the parish. The rocks of the hills are Lower Silurian; those of the lower grounds of the main body include abundance of limestone and sandstone; and those of the detached portion are carboniferous. The soil of the arable lands, though various, is generally fertile; but fully one-half of the entire area is hilly and mountainous sheepwalk, black and moorish in aspect. Through Gladhouse reservoir, on the course of the South Esk, this parish furnishes one-fourth of the entire water-supply of Edinburgh, the new works having been formally opened on 13 June 1879; and two additional reservoirs (Rosebery and Edgelaw) have been. constructed for compensation purposes. Rosebery and Toxside, both noticed separately, are the chief residences; and the principal proprietors are R. Dundas, Esq. of Arniston and the Earl of Rosebery, 2 others holding each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 1 of between £100 and £500, and 4 of from £50 to £100. The present parish comprises the ancient parish of Clerkington, and the chapelries of Moorfoot and Balantradoch. Clerkington, previous to the Reformation, was a vicarage under the monks of Newbattle. Moorfoot comprehended the upper half of the vale of the South Esk; and was a chapelry established by the Newbattle monks, to whom the lands had been gifted. The chapelry of Balantradoch, after the suppression of the Knights Templars, was granted in 1312 by Pope Clement V. to the Hospitallers or Knights of St John. The three districts having been united after the Reformation, assumed their present name from the circumstance of the chapel; of the Templars being adopted as their common or parochial church. Giving off its detached portion to Stobhill quoad sacra parish, Temple is in the presbytery of Dalkeith and the synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £218. The old parish church, still standing, is an oblong structure (547/12 x 171/3 feet), a simple but pleasing specimen of the transition from the First Pointed to the Scottish Decorated style. It has two long, narrow lancet windows (now blocked up), a large three-light E window, and smaller three-light windows on the S side; and it retains a piscina and Easter sepulchre. On the E gable below the belfry is an inscription which has puzzled antiquaries. The church formed part of a preceptory of the Knights Templars, which, founded by David I., and originally called Balantradoch, was the chief seat of the order in Scotland. The present parish church is a neat edifice of 1832, containing 400 sittings. There is also a Free church; and Temple public and Toxside schools, with respective accommodation for 105 and 47 children, had (1884) an average attendance of 73 and 33, and grants of £66, 18s. 6d. and £45, 10s. 6d. Valuation (1860) £7830, (1885) £10,060, plus £9924 for railway and waterworks. Pop. of civil parish (1801) 855, (1831) 1255, (1861) 1385, (1871) 1536, (1881) 1551; of ecclesiastical parish (1871) 658, (1881) 541.—Ord. Sur., shs. 32, 24, 1857-64.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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