Castle Semple Collegiate Church
Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire OS Map
Church Canmore
Also known as Collegiate Church of Lochwinnoch

Robert and Thomas Sempill supported Robert Bruce in his 14th Century campaigns and, as their reward, were granted significant stretches of land confiscated from the family of John Balliol. This included the area around Loch Winnoch.

A later Thomas, Sir Thomas Sempill of Eliotstoun, inherited the estates at Loch Winnoch. He died in 1488 at the battle of Sauchieburn leaving his son John to become Lord Semple.

A little later, in 1505, this John Semple built Castle Semple at the east end of Loch Winnoch - now known as Castle Semple Loch - and also founded the collegiate church near the loch shore. It is in a late gothic style and has a rectangular body with a square tower at the west end and a three-sided apse at the east end.

The school associated with the church came to be regarded as one of the finest in Scotland.

John himself died in 1513 at the battle of Flodden. He is entombed at the eastern end of the church. The tombstone of a descendant of his, Gabriel Semple, who died in 1587 is also inside the body of the church along with some more modern (19th century) graves.

Images ©2004 Martin McCarthy, Theasis Photography

Nearby Sites

12km Covenanters Stones Stone Circle
12km Moyne Moor Cist; Cairns; Stone Setting
15km Crookston Castle Castle
17km Deaconsbank Golf Course Cup and Ring Marks; Millstone Quarry; Dovecot
17km Rouken Glen Cup and Ring Marks
18km Carman Muir Burial Chamber Chambered Cairn
18km Pollock Ring Work Iron Age Fort; Hillfort
18km Carlin Crags Cup Marks
19km Whitehill Cup and Ring Marks
20km Bearsden Bathhouse Roman Fort
(NB: All distances are as-the-crow-flies. Lochs, mountains and beautiful winding roads will make it further. Sometimes much further.)