Knights Templar in Scotland

Today's post is for my friends at the Knights Templar group on Shelfari. I thought I would answer the question about the picture that adorns the our group site. This is all that is left of the Scottish headquarters of the Knights Templar. This arch can be found in a field behind a row of houses next to a children's playground. As with most ruins of historical relevance this has not been been disturbed by locals to expand their properties. 

The location of this arch is thougth to be the entrance to the headquarters of the Scottish perceptory at Balantradoch. The land for this headquarters of the Scottish Templars was granted by David I in 1153 which included a monastary on the east bank of River South Esk and a working farm. Later when the Knights Templar were brought down by Pope Clement V and the King of France in 1307 the two Knights Templar who remained at Balantradroch were brought to trial. 

What is interesting is that the St Clair(Sinclair) family of nearby Rosslyn were part of the local nobles who sati in judgement at that trial and did NOT defend the Knights Templar. This has always seemed odd because popular history would have us believe that the St Clair family were very much a part of the Knights Templar movement and history in Scotland. However, it is important to note that the two Templar Knights at Balantradroch who were tried were English Knights, and not Scots. One can only wonder if the Templar had been Scottish. Unfortunately prior to this the Templars at Balantradroch did fight with King Edward I and their leader in Scotland was killed by William Wallace. They had a bad reputation near the end because of turing out a widow from her own land, so much so she petition and won redress from King Edward I.


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