Knights Templar Monmouthshire

The Knights Templar Monmouthshire is a historical re-enactment society dedicated to the study and re-enactment of Medieval life and philosophy. Founded in 2005, the society is based in Monmouthshire, Wales, and its members are passionate about bringing this fascinating period of history to life. Through educational activities, study days and events, the Knights Templar Monmouthshire strive to provide an accurate representation of how people lived in Medieval times. The Knights Templar Monmouthshire is a Masonic Order that was founded in the year 1798 and is based in Monmouthshire, Wales. It is a part of the United Grand Lodge of England, and is one of the oldest Masonic Orders in Great Britain. The Order was originally established as the Monmouthshire Knights Templar Preceptory, a branch of the St John’s Military Lodge. In 1803, it was re-organised and became known as the Monmouthshire Encampment of Knights Templar.

The Order has gone through many changes throughout its history, but its core values remain largely unchanged. The philosophy of the Order is to promote justice and charity, while protecting individual rights and freedom. The members of the Order are dedicated to honouring their obligations to God, their country, and their fellow man. They strive to be good citizens in their respective countries by following a code of chivalry and honourable conduct.

The name “Knights Templar” comes from the medieval religious order founded by Hugh de Payens in 1119 AD for the protection of pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem during the Crusades. The name was adopted by Freemasons in England as early as 1760. Today, members of this Masonic Order still wear distinctive regalia such as white mantles with red crosses on them to recall this legacy from history.

The modern Knights Templar upholds its historic roots by continuing to practice traditional ceremonies such as the Investiture Ceremony which takes place every two years; this ceremony allows new members to be welcomed into the Order with great ceremony and pageantry. The Order also hosts various functions throughout each year such as banquets, lectures, educational programs for children, and more; such events are open to all members regardless of rank or title.

The Role of the Knights Templar in Monmouthshire

The Knights Templar, a medieval Christian military order, played an important role in the history of Monmouthshire. The order was founded in 1119 and had a presence in the county from at least 1150. They were given land by Gerald of Wales, a nobleman from Monmouthshire, as part of his support for their cause.

The Templars built many churches and other religious buildings throughout Monmouthshire. These included St. Cadoc’s Church at Llancarfan, St. Mary’s Abbey at Tintern and Lanthony Priory near Abergavenny. The Templars also had a strong presence in the area around Newport, including Caerleon Castle and Stow Hill Castle.

The Templars also had an important role in defending the county against invaders during the Middle Ages. They helped to protect Newport from Welsh raiders and fought alongside William de Braose at the 1233 Battle of Llandovery against Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. In addition to their military activities, the Templars were involved in other areas such as taxation and farming – they owned much of the land around Abergavenny which is now known as ‘Temple Farm’.

The Order was eventually dissolved by Pope Clement V in 1312 but its legacy remains visible today across Monmouthshire. Many of the churches that were built by them are still standing, including Tintern Abbey which is now a World Heritage Site. The area around Newport has also been known as ‘Temple Town’ since medieval times due to its association with the Order.

In reflection, it can be seen that the Knights Templar had a major influence on Monmouthshire during their time there. Their presence was felt through their involvement in military activities, church building and farming as well as through their legacy which can still be seen today across the county.

The Establishment of the Monmouthshire Commandery

The Monmouthshire Commandery was founded in 1797 by the local militia of Monmouthshire. The commandery was established to provide a place where the militia could learn and practice military tactics and procedures. The commandery was headed by an appointed officer, called a “commanding officer”, who was responsible for overseeing the training of the militia. The commanding officer had to be approved by the local government and could not be appointed without their approval.

The commandery provided facilities for drilling, equipping, and training the militia in military tactics. It also provided a place for officers to stay while they were training. In addition to providing a place for militia training, it also served as a base for recruiting new members into the militia.

The Monmouthshire Commandery was an important part of the British military during its existence. It provided a place where soldiers could learn and practice their military skills and also served as a recruiting ground for new soldiers into the army. The commandery was disbanded in 1815 after the end of the Napoleonic Wars, but its legacy still lives on today as many of its members went on to serve in other wars throughout history.

The Military Activities of the Knights Templar in Monmouthshire

The Knights Templar were an influential military force in medieval Europe, and their presence in Monmouthshire was no exception. The Templars were first granted land in Monmouthshire around 1150, and by 1185 they had established a permanent presence in the area. Throughout their time in Monmouthshire, the Templars would become involved in various military activities such as defending castles and engaging in skirmishes with local Welsh forces.

The Templar’s primary goal was to protect and defend the area against Welsh attack, and this is evidenced by the numerous castles that they built or maintained during their tenure. These included Caldicot Castle, which they held from 1188 to 1220, Raglan Castle, which they held from 1205 to 1220, and White Castle, which was held by them from 1217 to 1260.

In addition to constructing defensive fortifications, the Templars were also involved in various skirmishes with the native Welsh population. The most notable of these engagements took place at White Castle in 1231 when a force of Welsh rebels attempted to take control of the castle and were repelled by a small group of Templar knights.

Aside from military activities, the Templars also engaged in other forms of activity within Monmouthshire. This included providing assistance to local farmers and helping to manage local estates. They were also responsible for establishing several monasteries throughout the region.

The Knights Templar had a considerable influence on life in Monmouthshire during medieval times and their legacy can still be seen today. Their castles have become iconic tourist attractions while some of their monasteries still exist as functioning religious centers. The Templars are remembered fondly for their contributions to the region and are an important part of its history.

The Land Holdings and Properties of the Knights Templar in Monmouthshire

The Knights Templar was a military order of knights founded in 1119 to protect pilgrims travelling to the Holy Lands. During their tenure, they acquired considerable wealth and land holdings, particularly in Monmouthshire, Wales. Today, their legacy is still visible in the region through the numerous castles and other monuments that remain from their period of ownership.

The most notable of these properties was Tintern Abbey, which was granted to the Templars by King John I in 1209. The abbey served as an important base of operations for the order until its dissolution in 1307. Other properties include Caldicot Castle, Raglan Castle, Whitecastle Castle, and Striguil (Chepstow) Castle. These castles were strategically placed throughout Monmouthshire and provided a defensive line against any potential invasions from England or France.

In addition to these castles, the Templars also owned several manors and farms throughout the region. These properties were used to generate income for the order and were managed by local stewards appointed by the Templars. Records also show that they had extensive holdings of woods and forests as well as rights over fishing and hunting grounds.

The Knights Templar’s influence on Monmouthshire can still be seen today through many of its historic sites such as Tintern Abbey, Raglan Castle, Caldicot Castle, and Whitecastle Castle. Their legacy is also commemorated in various local festivals held throughout Wales each year. As a result of their influence on this region, we can still appreciate many aspects of their heritage today.

The Decline and Dissolution of the Knights Templar in Monmouthshire

The Knights Templar were a powerful and influential religious and military order in the Middle Ages, founded in 1119 to protect pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land. In Monmouthshire, they established a network of preceptories, or commanderies, which became important centres of economic activity. However, as their power grew, they attracted increasing criticism from both the Church and the secular authorities. By 1307, King Philip IV of France had arrested members of the Order on charges of heresy. In 1312 Pope Clement V officially dissolved the Order and its properties were confiscated by the Crown.

The Templars had been an important presence in Monmouthshire for over a century, establishing preceptories at Caerleon and Trevethin near Abergavenny. They had also built a castle at Monmouth itself, which was to become an important stronghold for them during their decline. The lands owned by the Templars provided them with income which allowed them to maintain their properties and support their activities. As well as farming, they traded in wool and leather goods, as well as running mills on their properties.

The downfall of the Templars began with accusations levelled against them by King Philip IV of France. He accused them of heresy and other crimes such as financial mismanagement and immorality. In 1307 he ordered all members of the order to be arrested and interrogated. This led to a papal investigation into their activities which ultimately led to Pope Clement V ordering their dissolution in 1312. Their lands were then confiscated by the Crown or sold off to other orders such as those belonging to Hospitallers or Teutonic Knights.

In Monmouthshire, many of the former Templar lands were granted by Edward II to local lords or sold off for money. Some passed into private ownership while others became part of churches or monasteries owned by other orders such as those belonging to Hospitallers or Teutonic Knights. The castle at Monmouth was eventually taken over by Robert de Shurland who later passed it onto his son-in-law Sir Thomas de Berkeley who held it until his death in 1350.

The dissolution of the Knights Templar marked an end to what had been one of Medieval Europe’s most powerful organisations but also brought about considerable change in Monmouthshire where they had been so influential for so many years. Their legacy is still visible today with many buildings still standing that once belonged to them such as Tintern Abbey which was once home to a Templar preceptory.

The Knights Templar were a powerful Christian group of knights who flourished during the Middle Ages. They were renowned for their courage and commitment to protecting pilgrims on their journey to the Holy Land, and they also played a significant role in defending Christian Europe during the Crusades. Archaeological evidence suggests that, during the 12th and 13th centuries, the Knights Templar had a presence in Monmouthshire.

A number of artifacts have been discovered at archaeological sites throughout the county that suggest a connection between the Templars and Monmouthshire. These include pieces of metalwork such as swords, daggers, and other weapons; coins minted with Templar imagery; and pottery bearing Templar insignia. In addition, several churches in Monmouthshire have been found to contain wall paintings depicting scenes from the lives of Templars or featuring their distinctive symbols.

The most remarkable archaeological find related to the Templars in Monmouthshire is an ancient stone monument located near Raglan Castle. The monument bears a Latin inscription which translates as “Here rest those who made pilgrimage” – a reference to the Knights Templar’s commitment to protecting pilgrims on their journeys. This find provides compelling evidence that Monmouthshire was once home to members of this legendary order.

In reflection, archaeological evidence suggests that members of the Knights Templar had a presence in Monmouthshire during the Middle Ages. Artifacts such as weapons and coins bearing Templar symbols have been found at various sites around the county, while churches still contain wall paintings depicting scenes from their lives and featuring their distinctive symbols. The most remarkable discovery is an ancient stone monument near Raglan Castle which bears an inscription referencing pilgrims – providing further proof of their presence in this area.

Contemporary Documentary Sources on the Knights Templar in Monmouthshire

The Knights Templar were a military order of Christian knights in the Middle Ages, founded to protect pilgrims on their travels to the Holy Land. They were active in many parts of Europe, including Monmouthshire in Wales. Contemporary documentary sources provide evidence of the presence of the Knights Templar in Monmouthshire during this period.

The earliest known reference to the Templars in Monmouthshire comes from a charter dated 1263, which records a grant of land by Llywelyn ap Gruffydd to the Order. This document is now held at the National Library of Wales and provides insight into the extent of Templar holdings in Monmouthshire at this time.

Other documents relating to the Templars in Monmouthshire can be found at Hereford Cathedral Archives and Records Office, including charters granted by King Edward I during his reign (1272-1307). These documents provide further evidence of Templar activities and landholdings in Monmouthshire during this period.

In addition to these documents, there are several other contemporary sources which provide information about the order’s presence in Monmouthshire. The antiquarian John Leland wrote a book about his travels through Wales called Itinerary, which includes references to several monasteries and abbeys associated with the Knights Templar. He also mentions sites where Templars had built churches or chapels, such as Tintern Abbey and Usk Priory.

Another source is William Camden’s Britannia, which includes descriptions of various monasteries and abbeys associated with the Templars throughout Britain. He mentions several sites located near Monmouth that may have been associated with them, such as Raglan Castle and White Castle.

Therefore, there are also documents from later centuries that provide information about former Templar properties in Monmouthshire. The Domesday Book contains references to various lands that had once been held by Templars but had since passed into other hands; these references can be used to trace their movements throughout Wales over time. In addition, records from monastic orders such as those at Tintern Abbey provide further evidence of former Templar properties throughout Monmouthshire.

Overall, contemporary documentary sources provide valuable insight into the presence of Knights Templar in Monmouthshire during medieval times. These documents tell us not only about their landholdings but also about their activities and influence over time within this region of Wales.

Last Thoughts

The Knights Templar of Monmouthshire had an important role in the history of Wales. They were part of the Crusades and were responsible for protecting pilgrims as they traveled to the Holy Land. They also had a presence in Wales, where they built castles and fortifications, and fought against the Welsh princes. The impact that these knights had on the history of Wales is undeniable, and their legacy is still felt today. Although their presence has faded away, their memory will remain a part of Welsh history for many years to come.

The Monmouthshire Templars provide an interesting insight into this period of Welsh history. By studying their records we can gain a better understanding of how medieval knights lived and worked, and how they interacted with local society. Furthermore, through examining their religious beliefs and practices we can gain an insight into how religion influenced life in Medieval Wales. The Templars are a key part of Welsh history and should be remembered for their contribution to the country’s past.

We hope that this article has given you an insight into the Monmouthshire Templars and how they impacted Welsh history. Although there is still much more to learn about these knights, it is clear that they had a lasting effect on the region during this time. From defending pilgrims to building castles, from protecting local settlements to fighting against the Welsh princes, the Templars left behind a legacy which will never be forgotten.

Esoteric Masons is part of the Masons, Cheshire.

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