Thursday, 30 June 2011

The Knights Templar

Westerdale is often mentioned in connection with the Knights Templar although there is little hard evidence remaining  beyond a few carved stones in the Church.
Dave Cole pointed out a piece in The Guardian which is worth reading.
The link should remain live for many months.

This is the main section related to their activity in Yorkshire but the entire piece is an interesting read.

Yorkshire the heartland

Yorkshire, aside from London, was the heartland of Templar influence in England, supplying both men and money to the cause, based on its strong agricultural and woollen economy.

So important were the Templars' holdings in the county that a 'chief preceptor' or ' master' was appointed for Yorkshire from early times.
The Yorkshire estates of the Templars consisted of the preceptories of Copmanthorpe (with the Castle Mills of York), Faxfleet, Foulbridge, Penhill, Ribston, Temple Cowton, Temple Hirst, Temple Newsam, Westerdale, and Whitley, and the manors of Alverthorpe and Etton.

At one time in Yorkshire, the Templars were able to luxuriate in the unrivalled position of being exempt from taxes, and many of their workers and tenants also enjoyed this privilege.

Dozens of houses and pubs across Yorkshire still bear the Templar cross – a sign to many that the building was a Templar holding – though many unscrupulous landowners also displayed the sign in the hope of dodging tax.
But just as the Order was reaching the peak of its powers in Yorkshire and in Europe, it was rapidly dissolved, and many of the Templar buildings were left to ruin.

1 comment:

  1. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts about the Knights Templar are surrounded by intrigue and secrecy. After its foundation in the first crusade which quickly reached unprecedented power. They began to lose their grip on power one night in when the King of France ordered the effective elimination of coordinated and comprehensive order.



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