NS4373 : Temple: a folly near Auchentorlie House

taken 14 years ago, near to Milton, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland

Temple: a folly near Auchentorlie House
Temple: a folly near Auchentorlie House
The photograph was taken from the pavement on the southern side of the busy A82. Unfortunately, there is no unobstructed view of this curious structure from anywhere along that road.

Maps reveal that the building is about 7 metres square, and that it is called Temple; apart from that, it seems that the only available information about it is what can be discerned from a distance: it is unroofed, and has a small chimney-like feature, which is not visible from this particular angle. For a similar but more zoomed-in view, see NS4373 : Old folly near Milton.

While puzzling over the possible origins of this structure, I happened to notice a resemblance between this Temple at Auchentorlie, and another building, also called Temple, that stands on Kenmure Hill (also spelled Kenmuir Hill) near Howwood: see NS3860 : Hill-top Temple, NS3860 : Temple, NS3860 : The Temple, Kenmuir Hill, and NS3860 : Kenmure Hill Temple.

Kenmure Hill's Temple is known to have been built for William McDowall in 1760; see LinkExternal link (at Canmore).

As for the Auchentorlie estate, it had been acquired in 1737 by Andrew Buchanan of Drumpellier, Provost of Glasgow [see "History of the Parish of West or Old Kilpatrick", John Bruce, 1893].

This Andrew Buchanan and the above-mentioned William McDowall of Castle Semple/Sempill were, from 1749, among the six original partners in one of Glasgow's early banking ventures, the Ship Bank [see NS5964 : Site of the Glasgow Ship Bank, corner of Saltmarket and the Briggait for their early premises].

Given the close business connection between the two landowners, as well as the similarities between the buildings on Kenmure Hill and at Auchentorlie, and the fact that both are called Temple(*), there would appear to be some sort of connection between the structures. It is even possible that the same architect was responsible for both of them.

[(*) It should be added that, throughout Britain, many follies on hilltops are styled after or even called "temples", so this third point of similarity between the two buildings carries rather less weight than the other two.]

The temple at Auchentorlie receives brief notice in a travel account that was published in 1802; in the second volume of his "Observations on a tour through almost the whole of England, and a considerable part of Scotland, ...", Charles Dibdin (1745-1814) mentions a building called Frisky Hall (usually so written), which was located nearby in what is now the village of Bowling: "Friskie-Hall next attracted us, and the small temple situated on the summit of a precipice".

The structure is shown, and annotated as "A Temple", on the 1777 "Map of the Shire of Dumbarton" by Charles Ross.

My thanks to Janet Stirling Brown for the following additional information: "It is said that during the Second World War, Mrs Sinclair née Buchanan, of the family who owned the nearby Auchentorlie House, was walking near the Temple on her family's Estate, just after the Blitz, when she heard voices and discovered German Airmen who had crash landed and were sheltering in the Temple. She crept away and notified the authorities."

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Lairich Rig and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Geographical Context: Historic sites and artefacts Ruin: Folly Image Buckets ?: CloseCrop Near: Bowling Category: Folly
This photo is linked from: Automatic Clusters: · A82 [8] · Dumbarton [6] · Old Folly [2] · Village of Bowling [2] Other Photos: · Burial place of Buchanan of Auchentorlie · The summit of Temple Hill ·
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
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NS4373, 41 images   (more nearby 🔍)
Lairich Rig   (more nearby)
Date Taken
Friday, 9 April, 2010   (more nearby)
Wednesday, 14 April, 2010
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4360 7397 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:55.9965N 4:30.3114W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4357 7383
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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