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CJ Max | all galleries >> Galleries >> JOHNSTON Family Album 2005 > Templar Chapel Ruins in Moffat
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06-AUG-2012 Archie Young

Templar Chapel Ruins in Moffat


The north-south route from Carlisle to the Glasgow and Edinburgh areas was to really emerge during the mediaeval period. Moffat's Chapel Lane up to Chapel Farm is a deeply-incised 'hollow way', likely of mediaeval date. It probably began as a short cut from the growing village up from a fording or bridge point on the Annan at Moffat and then up onto the Roman Road. The Chapel at Chapel Farm survives only as a window and a wall that is the end-gable of a farm building, but it was once the chapel to a Hospital of the Knights Templar, tending wayfarers who needed medical care. Such Hospitals or 'Spitals' sometimes also served as inns, in common with other monastic institutions. Further down toward the River Evan on the western side of the Cotes Hill ridge is a motte, probably a Johnstone or Brus stronghold guarding the Evan Water valley from attacks.

Moffat could be said to have been started by the building by the Johnston family of Auldton Motte, about a mile to the north east of the present High Street. The motte and bailey fortress may have had its own chapel, but was associated with a small church sited near the graveyard on the southeast corner of High Street. Robert de Bruce transferred it in 1177 to the Bishop of Glasgow as 'a prebend of the see'.

Our Johnston family has historical roots in the Knights Templar, and the tradition continues to this day.

7-28-17: Tonight I was able to verify that my grandfather was a Knight Templar, a tradition in our family going back to the Crusades. This tradition was interrupted by his death while his sons were still young, too young for the tradition to be passed on. We will revive it.

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