Temple village consists of a single street of mainly 18th century cottages, a plaque on no. 14 records that the painter, Sir William Gillies (1898 – 1973) lived there.
Deep down in the river valley below the village is the ruined Old Church, once the seat of a body of Red Friars or Templars established by David I. Dating from the 12th century, it is thought to be the only surviving Templar building in Scotland.
The graveyard has some interesting memorial stones including one to farmer John Craig who died in 1742 and is shown in his Sunday best suit with his children at his side. Another memorial is to the Reverend James Goldie and includes his last will and testament.
As the South Esk leaves Temple, it flows under Braidwood Bridge (Sandy’s Bridge) an example of a reinforced concrete bridge dating from the 1930s. An unusual feature of the bridge is its incorporation of the parapets of the earlier 1811 bridge which it replaced.
Flowing on through this deep wooded valley, the river reaches Arniston Estate which was acquired by the Dundas family in 1571, where they lived in the original Tower House until in 1726, Robert Dundas commissioned William Adam to draw up plans for a Palladian Mansion House, retaining parts of the old Tower. The house is still privately owned by descendants of the family and is open to the public on certain days.
Many footpaths through the grounds have recently been upgraded allowing walkers to enjoy the beautiful countryside through the woods, sometimes high above the river, sometimes beside it, criss-crossing on lovely old bridges.
Midlothian Council has produced a series of leaflets of maps and information on walks in Midlothian.