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Torphichen

Tophichen Preceptory ©Historic Scotland

A small, picturesque, historical village situated in the gently rolling Torphichen Hills.

 

History

An ancient settlement, the village church can trace its roots to 400CE when it was founded by St Ninian and was at that time, a small wooden structure. The church was rebuilt in 1756.

The Torphichen Preceptory was the Scottish headquarters of the Knights of St John and was founded in the 12th century but not completed until the 13th century. Sir William Wallace held his last convention of barons here in 1928.

The church is very active today and its original pews include reserved stalls for the Knights from the Preceptory.

Other historical buildings include St. Johns Hall on the Manse Road which was built in 1843 which is now used as a church hall.

A sanctuary stone which may predate the arrival of St Ninian can be found in the kirk yard. It is thought that this was connected to the prehistoric burial mound at Cairnpapple Hill.

 

Torphichen Today

With a central geographical location and close rail and motorway links, Torphichen is ideally placed for travel to Linlithgow and Bathgate with rail links to Edinburgh and Glasgow.  

The village, which is clustered around the church and village square is picturesque and features a Jubilee Fountain constructed to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1897.

Local amenities include a post office/shop and the Torphichen Inn offers a warm welcome to visitors and excellent home cooked food is served throughout the day in its restaurant. 

Visitors to the area flock to the Cupcake Cafe Bar at Westerwood Farm which offers the most exquisite cupcakes and cakes. 

The Torphichen and Bathgate Pipe Band is ranked amongst the world’s best in the premier division of Grade 1 competition and features a roster of players from all around Scotland.