The name may derive from the Templars, the medieval Christian military order whose wealth and influence spread throughout Europe, even to Dumfriesshire.
The biggest source of employment for this area used to be the Corncockle quarry, which produced red sandstone of the type that has
given such an unmistakable character to the architecture of Dumfriesshire. It was here around 1730 that Robert Paterson, the stonemason
legendized by Walter Scott as the Covenanter memorialist Old Mortality, began an apprenticeship under the supervision of his brother
before leasing his own quarry near Closeburn.
This is Jardine country. According to the Dumfriesshire historian William McDowall, the Jardines 'held lands in the parish of Applegarth
before the Celtic element in the population was overlaid by the Saxon.' In fact they were twelfth-century Norman immigrants,
originally the de Jardines.
Around 1500 Jardines' stronghold Spedlins Castle, to the north-east, was begun, the upper storeys being
added a century later. An indication of how they exerted their authority in the area is the castle's prison cell accessed through a trap-door.
Let Nigel Tranter, recorder of Scotland's fortified houses, describe its awfulness:
...a most unpleasant example of mural pit or prison in the thickness of the wall, without window.
This horrible place is 7 and a half feet long by only 2 and a half feet wide, and is 11 and a half feet in depth.
Presumably the only way out for prisoners would be by being pulled up by a rope, assuming them to be capable of such exercise.
According to legend, the first baronet Alexander Jardine locked up a miller called Porteous and,
departing for Edinburgh on business, took the key with him and forgot all about the captive.
Porteous perished in the dark, dank dungeon, though he had tried keeping himself alive by gnawing at his hands and feet for sustenance.
A later home, Jardine Hall, was a mansion built in the 1810s, but that was demolished in 1964.
Spedlins Castle, though, flourishes: after being roofless for a long time, it was restored in 1988-9.
The 7th baronet Sir William Jardine (1800-1874) was well known as a naturalist
(and should not be confused with the Far East businessman of the same name}.
His interest in the life-cycle of the salmon led to the publication of British Salmonidae.
He was also a passionate ornithologist, his personal museum containing some 6000 specimens,
and he followed all the outdoor pursuits associated with a Victorian laird: hunting, shooting and fishing.
He fished the Annan, which was handy since it flowed through his own land.
There was one thing he tried but (despite years of objections) failed to stop passing through his estate: the Carlisle-Glasgow railway.
There is a Jardine burial-enclosure attached to Applegarth parish kirk to the south-east.
It pre-dates the main building, which was put up in the 1760s and re-modelled in the 1880s.
Despite Ordnance Survey indications to the contrary, the village of Applegarth barely exists.
The Buildings of Scotland series notes 'a war memorial looking like the market cross of a vanished village'.
To the south-west of Templand, Elshieshields Tower is a sixteenth-century fortified house whose eighteenth-century
addition turned it into more of a country mansion. It was originally a stronghold of the Johnstones.
From 1966 it was home to the eminent Byzantine historian Sir Steven Runciman (1903-2000), who,
despite an upper-class English upbringing, was a lifelong member of the Church of Scotland and was buried at Lochmaben.