Kenmure Hill Temple

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Pavilions such as the Kenmure Hill ‘temple’, often called follies, litter the country side across England, Wales, Scotland and both Irelands, to say nothing of Europe. Unfortunately, many are in similar condition.
Their owners had all sorts of excuses for building them. Sometimes as a ‘cold bath plunge,’ popular in the 18th century. Often they served as a banquet pavilion, for a fine meal with friends. They were also built as observation pavilions, a comfortable place to watch a hunt or rest during a designed walking path around an estate. Many were built simply as a pleasing structure in the landscape, an ‘eyecatcher,’ to end a vista. Some estate owners built them as work projects during times of need.
However, it was probably never used as a masonic lodge. Scotch Freemasonry was well established and widely accepted by the time this pavilion was erected. In fact the title ‘the oldest Masonic Lodge in the world’ is generally accepted as one in Scotland. There would not have been any reason for such an isolated location.
I do not know enough about Masonic Lodges to know if this building was large enough for a lodge meeting, nor was I able to find out if Colonel William McDowell was a Mason. However, my vote is for it to have been built as a banquet pavilion, for enjoying the countryside, as a good place to watch a race or a hunt, or perhaps all of these.
Gregory Hubbard

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This building has always been known as ‘The Temple’ on various maps throughout time. It has never been called a ‘folly’ which would denote it was built for no particular reason.