Perched on the slopes of a Johnstone country park is Kenmure Hill Temple.
A tranquil setting, yes. But, the temple is also shrouded in great mystique. There is great debate over what purpose it once served.
Kenmure Hill Temple is on the former site of the Clan Semple ancestral estate. The octagonal shape it boasts gives it a striking appearance, only adding to its unusual nature. It now resides in Scotland’s biggest regional park, Clyde Muirshiel. It has no roof, and hosts large arched windows for a breezy experience.
Some say that the structure was first used as a place of worship by the landowner’s servants, or for his wife. Others say it was built simply as a landmark to admire, with no real use or purpose to it.
There are other tales that say it was a nursery to care for a sick child. But, some neigh-sayers push back on that. They claim women sat up on the building to watch husbands below them hunt for stags on horseback.
On the 900-acre land prior to this was an estate that dated back to 1500, hosting the Semple family. All that is left of the huge estate is the temple, gate arches and a walled garden. The rest was unfortunately destroyed by a fire in 1935.
Another aspect that does have some record to back it up, is the construction. It is shown that Kenmure Temple was built around 1760 for Colonel William McDowell. Speculation draws that the idea for the building’s odd architecture may have been inspired by James Gibbs’ 1728 Book Of Architecture.
Kenmure Temple has built up plenty of conspiracy theories of what it used to hold. Perhaps it’s best to let your imagination dictate. Will we ever know it’s real use? Probably not. But it will always be sitting on top of that lonely hill watching over the land.