The name Templeton is thought to derive from “The Templars Farm” (“Tun”). It is reputed that the Knights Templar had some from of religious house here. Their possessions were often taken over by the Knights Hospitallers, which had a commandery at Slebech, which, by 1282 at least, had passed into the hands of the Mortimers, Lords of Narberth.
In 1282 Templeton was called “Villa temparil” – the “Vil” or settlement of the Templars and a year later, “Villa Templarorium Campestris” – the vil of the Templars in the fields. In 1283 there was also a reference to “Burgesses”. These burgesses were “de vento” – “of the wind” meaning they were not property owners within the settlement but were permitted to come in and out of trade on a regular basis. Burgesses at Templeton are again recorded in the 16th century.
The layout of the present village may be interpreted as a classical example of deliberate planning in the Middle Ages, and one of the best surviving examples in West Wales. There is a single main street fronted by houses with their respected plots extending behind each dwelling. These houses and plots, the “burgages” of the Middle Ages, from coherent unit imposed on the landscape and set in a regular system of fields, which themselves still show the narrow strips representing recent enclosures from an extensive medieval “open field” agricultural system. Despite the name, it is not certain that the Templars were responsible for creating the planned settlement. It is possible that this was done by Mortimer incorporating an earlier agricultural holding or farm established by the Templars. It was once a marcher borough. Owen, in 1603, described it as one of nine Pembrokeshire “boroughs in decay”.
In the 17th century Narberth Mountain was stocked with Red Deer and covered 873 acres of woodland. The Pembrokeshire county history records also show open fields in Molleston and Templeton being enclosed for pasture. The establishment of The Tavernspite Turnpike Trust in the 1770’s led to a toll gate being built at Catershook to the south of the village; its position on an important trading route from Tenby to Cardigan undoubtedly contributed to the growth of Templeton. In the late 18th century the countryside continued to change with woodland disappearing, more land being enclosed and farming dominating the landscape.
A Poem About Templeton
Templeton village is very old
Much of its history still to be told.
Farming past, was its life blood
When cows roamed the lanes, chewing their cud.
Many changes it has seen
Many villagers there have been.
They changed the road to make it straight
So cars could hurry and not be late.
And as the road became much faster
For the people it was a disaster.
It split the village into two
And people did not know who was who.
Despite the problems of one and all
The community works for the good of all.
Help and time they freely give
Templeton is the place to live. Sue Lloyd
Within and around Templeton there are a number of buildings ofhistoric or architectural importance including Sentence Castle nowa neglected and ruinous earthwork, the shell of Mounton Chapel,the former workhouse at Allensbank, St John the Baptist’s Churchand Poyer’s Farm. The Knights’ Way a local tourist trail from Ludchurch and Slebechpasses through Templeton. Templeton is surrounded by beautiful and peaceful countryside with clean and healthy air. There is a local network of footpaths and bridleways, including the Knight’s Way and Landsker Trail, which pass through a variety of scenery, fields, woods and green lanes.