The Knights Templar were supposedly formed in 1118 as the “Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon” by a group of French Crusaders. Under the guidance of one Hugh De Payens, these Knights took vows of chastity and poverty, swearing to do everything within their power to protect the Holy Land. By the mid 1120’s the order was spreading quickly throughout Europe, even as far as the Clyde valley.
Records tell us that the Knights owned a lot of the land around the Clyde, most usually towns and sites associated with the ancient Celtic church. The Templars received their first grants of lands within Renfrewshire in 1128 from Baldwin of Biggar, Sheriff of Lanarkshire and servant of King Malcolm IV. One theory suggest that this part of Scotland, home to the Stewards of Scotland, was home to a large number of Templar Knights who resided high up in the echelons of power for many generations.
There are a number of "Celtic Saints" associated with Renfrewshire and Ayrshire, Fillan, Blaine, Brychan, Columba, and there is certainly suggestion that the Cistercian monastic order often made pilgrimage to sites linked to them.