Down Memory Lane, July 24 2020

Nature is taking over the entrance way to the location with greenery on the pillars and steps.

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More information about Tayinloan’s ‘Temple’

The mystery location identified as ‘The Temple’ in last week’s Down Memory Lane has sparked interest.

The Courier reported on some of the limited information about the site which is available online and this week Duncan Macdougall, who owned and ran the nearby Tayinloan Stores for almost 40 years before retiring in 2008, shared more.

Duncan sent the Courier a passage about the site from the book ‘Antiquities of Killean and Kilkenzie’ by the late Reverend Donald John Macdonald which reads: ‘Known as An Teampull, within a short distance of Largie Castle, is a mound of imposing height, its summit enclosed by a wall and the space within laid out like a flower-garden, entered by a massive stone gateway, built of singular-looking stones with traces of masonry outside the entrance.

‘The name distinctly associates it with worship. Its present condition indicates  structural changes have been wrought on the place, at a comparatively recent time.

‘The name is not a common one in our land, but it is shared by Teampull na Trianaid in North Uist, a shrine with lines of distinction in its ruins, Teampull Dhe, in Taransay and Teampull na h-annait in Killigray, islands in The Sound of Harris. There is one in Lewis. There is a temple in Dumbarton and Gorebridge, Dalkeith.

‘The latter are of Sean origin, supposed to be connected with The Knights Templars, but it is a question whether the same can be affirmed of the local one.’

Rev D J Macdonald was at one time the minister of Killean and Kilchenzie’s parish church at Chleit. His book contains descriptions of the the tombstones within the vault of the old church of Killean, the church building and its vault dating from around 1243 AD. It also features tales of Kintyre’s beasts and giants, duns and forts and is described as ‘a delightful collection of local folklore for residents and tourists’.