Torphichen Priory

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Logo.jpg Edinburgh: Torphichen Preceptory

Among the trimmed greens and nestled between the trees is the slate gray edifice and chapel originally built for the Knights Hospitaller. Once the second most important holding of the Crusader Order, the building miraculously survives in solemn celebration of faith. It remains a silent sentry to history long passed. Constructed bit by bit from stones of varying shades of gray and only two storeys tall, it is a small, unassuming complex.

Distinct construction phases cobble together the surviving medieval tower and transepts with the 18th century church and Victorian woodwork and pews. Jumbled headstones fill an expansive kirkyard hemmed in by wrought iron gates; many are personalized with carvings or engravings, including dancing skeletons, skulls, professional tools, and fruits. The earliest burials date from the 1590s. The slate roof is the newest addition to the preceptory, blending with the rest of the simple, spartan architecture. The north end houses the chapel, the tallest section whose blocky shape lends a fortress-like quality alleviated only by a single, large, gothic stained glass window that looks out to the world.


Zone: North
Grid: A1
Concept: Hospitaller headquarters
Resources: 2
Security: 3

Manager: City
Owner: City

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