A 12th Century-Old Carved Stone Uncovered In Temple

In 2009, a mysterious 12th century carved stone has been uncovered alongside an old church associated with the Knights Templar. The carved stone was unearthed when builders were excavating and reinforcing a wall alongside the old ruined church in Temple, Midlothian. However, the inscriptions have baffled archaeologists because it's include symbols similar to those found in Viking monuments, in medieval graves and in West Highland Celtic carvings.

Crispin Phillips, the man who discovered the stone said, he was repairing and renovating the wall's house alongside The Old Parish Church, it was suddenly falling into the graveyard. He and his friends got near the bottom of the foundations and found something buried there. Apparently they found one stone carved with a cross and then another with these carvings on it. And then, he contacted Historic Scotland and East Lothian Council, whose archaeologists cover Midlothian.

He said the stone had been photographed and recorded but he was still unclear whether further investigations would be carried out. 

"One of the archaeologists who came out told us it was probably from the early 12th century," he added. "But really I'm still in limbo about what to do about it." 

Historian and author John Ritchie said the stone raised many questions. "It is a crude carving, quite primitive, but I have never seen anything like it in my life," he said. "It has a whole series of symbols on it and the symbols are very interesting. "The symbols at the bottom look like Viking sun compasses, while the dials at the top look a little bit like a Celtic cross but with notches carved on them." While, expert David Connolly, of Connolly Heritage Consultancy, said he believed the stone was from the 13th or 14th century.

Village legend tells of long-lost buried treasure and some of this treasure still lies buried in Temple with a clue: "Twixt the oak and the elm tree/You will find buried the millions free." The village of Temple in Midlothian takes its name from the Knights Templar, who once had their Scottish Preceptory – their headquarters – there. The ruined chapel, which nestles in the valley at the foot of the village, is all that remains of what was once an abbey founded by the Templars on lands gifted by David I of Scotland in 1127. Founded during the Crusades, the Templars was a religious order of knights whose mission was to protect Christians in the Holy Land.


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