Knights Templar Wiltshire


The Knights Templar Wiltshire is a branch of the original Knights Templar, a medieval religious military order originally founded in 1119. The Wiltshire branch of the Order was established in the early 12th century, and has remained in existence ever since. It is the oldest continuously existing Knights Templar organization in England and Wales. The Wiltshire branch of the Order is responsible for preserving and safeguarding the traditions, customs, and history of the Order, while simultaneously supporting its members to live out their Christian faith through service to others. The Knights Templar Wiltshire are committed to upholding the values of chivalry and honour that have been passed down through generations. The Knights Templar was a medieval religious military order that was active in Wiltshire, England from 1140 to 1307. Founded in Jerusalem during the First Crusade, the Order was initially charged with protecting Christian pilgrims on their journeys to and from the Holy Land. Over time, the Order flourished and spread throughout Europe, including Wiltshire. In Wiltshire, the Templars built a number of castles and preceptories (meeting houses) where they held their meetings and stored their wealth. They also owned vast tracts of lands in Wiltshire and surrounding counties which were farmed by local people. This wealth allowed them to become one of the most powerful organisations in Europe at that time. Unfortunately for the Templars, this power led to their downfall; they were accused of heresy by King Philip IV of France in 1307 and dissolved by Pope Clement V on Friday 13th October 1307.

Origins of the Knights Templar

The Knights Templar, also known as the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, were founded in 1119 CE. The Order was established to protect Christian pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land during the Crusades. The Templars were a monastic military order, combining elements of both a religious and a knightly order. They were held in high esteem by both their fellow knights and by other religious orders, such as the Cistercians and Benedictines.

The Order was founded by nine French knights who had sworn an oath to protect pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem and the Holy Land. The Templars’ mission was to defend Christianity against its enemies, particularly Muslim forces that threatened Europe’s borders. The Order quickly grew in power and influence, gaining lands and wealth throughout Europe through donations from monarchs and other powerful figures.

The Templars were renowned for their courage on the battlefield and often played a decisive role in battle. They became known for their discipline and organization, as well as their skill at siege warfare. Despite their successes on the battlefield, they also gained a reputation for greediness due to their accumulation of wealth. This eventually led to accusations of corruption within the Order which ultimately caused its downfall in 1307 CE when Pope Clement V abolished it after pressure from King Philip IV of France.

Despite its eventual dissolution, the legacy of the Knights Templar continues today with various modern groups claiming descent from them or perpetuating aspects of their legacy. The Templar’s influence can still be seen in some modern fraternal orders such as Freemasonry which has taken some elements from Templar rites into its own rituals. Ultimately, despite its demise centuries ago, the memory of this legendary order still lives on today through these various organizations that perpetuate its legacy.

Battle of Lincoln

One of the most significant battles fought by the Knights Templar in Wiltshire was the Battle of Lincoln in 1217. This battle was a major victory for the Knights Templar, as they were able to recover the city from King John’s forces. The Templars were victorious due to their superior skill and tactics, and their courage in battle. This battle was also significant because it marked the first time that the Templars had been openly recognized as a legitimate military force by a European monarch.

Battle of Stockbridge

The Battle of Stockbridge was fought in 1230 between the Templars and King Henry III’s forces. The Templars were able to secure a decisive victory over the royal army, which allowed them to gain control of much of Wiltshire. This battle is significant because it marked an important step in the Templars’ progress towards establishing themselves as a powerful military force in Britain.

Battle of Marlborough

The Battle of Marlborough was fought in 1267 between forces loyal to Edward I and those loyal to Simon de Montfort. The Templars played an important role in this battle, providing support for Edward I’s troops throughout the conflict. The Battle of Marlborough is significant because it marked an important step towards establishing Edward I as King of England, as well as helping establish the Templars as a powerful military force in Wiltshire and beyond.

Battle of Wilsford

The Battle of Wilsford was fought between forces loyal to Edward I and those loyal to Llywelyn ap Gruffudd in 1282. The Templar Knights participated in this battle, providing support to Edward I’s troops throughout the conflict. This battle is significant because it helped secure Edward I’s victory over Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, thus ensuring his ascension to becoming King of England and solidifying his control over Wiltshire and other areas under his rule.

Knights Templar in Wiltshire

The Knights Templar, originally formed as a religious order of soldiers during the Crusades, had a large presence in Wiltshire during the 12th century. While the order is long gone, it left behind several sites of interest that are still present today. These sites are a testament to the history and legacy of the Knights Templar. The most well-known of these sites is Old Sarum, which was once a fortified fortress and the first home of the Order in Wiltshire. Other sites include an ancient church and several burial grounds. All of these sites offer visitors an insight into the rich history and legacy of the Knights Templar in Wiltshire.

Old Sarum

Old Sarum is one of the most important and well-known sites associated with the Knights Templar in Wiltshire. Located on a hilltop outside Salisbury, it was once a fortified fortress that served as the first home for the Order in Wiltshire. Today, it is an English Heritage site that offers visitors a chance to explore its ruins, which include sections of walls and towers that date back to 1130 AD. There is also an interactive museum where visitors can learn more about this medieval castle and its history.

Church of St Mary Magdalene

The Church of St Mary Magdalene is another important site associated with the Knights Templar in Wiltshire. Located near Old Sarum, this ancient church dates back to 1160 AD and features stone arches, stained glass windows, and other impressive features. The church has been restored over time to maintain its original medieval style, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

Burial Grounds

In addition to Old Sarum and St Mary Magdalene’s Church, there are several burial grounds associated with the Knights Templar in Wiltshire. These include gravesites located at Old Sarum as well as burial grounds at nearby villages such as Trowbridge and West Ashton. These burial grounds offer visitors an opportunity to learn more about this religious order’s presence in Wiltshire by exploring their tombs and monuments.

For those interested in learning more about this fascinating period of history, visiting these sites associated with the Knights Templar in Wiltshire is highly recommended. Not only will you get an insight into their legacy but you may also find yourself surrounded by some truly awe-inspiring sights.

Architecture and Design Built by the Knights Templar in Wiltshire

The Knights Templar were a military order of the Catholic Church which is known for their architectural influence in Europe. In Wiltshire, England, the Knights Templar built a number of castles, chapels, and other buildings which are still standing today. These structures were built to serve as both places of worship as well as strongholds for the order. The architecture and design of these structures reflect the unique style and culture of the order, which often included intricate stonework and gothic elements.

The most iconic example of Templar architecture in Wiltshire is Templecombe Castle. This castle was originally constructed in 1185 and was used as a base for Templars to launch raids into France. It was also used as a center for religious ceremonies such as baptisms and burials. The castle features a square keep, surrounded by a moat, four corner towers, and an outer bailey. Much of the original stonework from this period still stands today, providing an impressive view into the past.

The church at Templecombe Castle is another example of Templar architecture in Wiltshire. This Romanesque church dates back to 1150 and was built with stone walls up to eight feet thick. It features an arched entrance with two round towers at either side, along with a pointed arch window above it. Inside the church there are three naves with tall pillars that support the vaulted ceiling.

The Templars also constructed their own chapel in Wilton, England known as St Mary’s Chapel or ‘The Roundel’ which dates back to 1220-1230 AD. This chapel is circular in shape with three levels – an upper level for worshipers; a lower level with an altar; and an open area below ground level where relics were kept safe from potential enemies or invaders. The walls feature intricate carvings depicting biblical scenes such as Adam and Eve meeting God or Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

These structures demonstrate just how influential the Knights Templar were on both architecture and design during this period in history – not only in Wiltshire but across Europe too. Even today these buildings remain standing as testament to their legacy.

The Legacy of the Knights Templar in Wiltshire

The Knights Templar were a powerful and influential religious order of knights during the Middle Ages. Founded in 1119, they served as both warriors and monks, dedicated to protecting pilgrims on their journey to Jerusalem. During their peak, the Templars had a presence in many European countries including England and Wales. In Wiltshire, the Knights Templar have left behind an impressive legacy that can still be seen today.

The most well-known surviving structure associated with the Templars is Templecombe Church, located near Salisbury. This 14th century church was once a preceptory for the order, where they would hold their meetings and other ceremonies. The site has been extensively excavated by archaeologists and many artifacts from the period have been discovered, giving us an insight into how the Templars lived and worked in this area.

In addition to Templecombe Church, there are several other sites associated with the Templars in Wiltshire that are worth noting. These include Deverill Longbridge near Warminster, which was a commandery of the order; Fonthill Abbey near Salisbury, which was founded by a former Templar knight; and Lydiard House near Swindon, which was built on land that once belonged to a Templar preceptory.

Another legacy of the Templars is found in Wiltshire’s landscape itself. Many of their preceptories were surrounded by moats for protection or had fortified walls built around them. These defensive structures have left an indelible mark on Wiltshire’s landscape and can still be seen today in some areas.

The legacy of the Knights Templar in Wiltshire is a testament to their influence in this part of England during medieval times. From grand structures like Templecombe Church to more subtle marks like moats and fortified walls, it is clear that they had a lasting impact on this area that can still be seen centuries later.

Historical Connections to the Knights Templar in Wiltshire

The Knights Templar were a religious military order of knights founded during the 11th century. They were originally established to protect pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land, but eventually became powerful and influential across Europe. Wiltshire has long been associated with the Knights Templar, with many connections throughout its history.

One of the most important sites for the Templars in Wiltshire is Templecombe, which was established in 1185 by King Henry II as a Templar settlement. The settlement was intended to serve as a base for operations against Scotland, but it later became an important centre of pilgrimage for those wanting to visit nearby Glastonbury Abbey. In addition to Templecombe, there are numerous other sites associated with the Templars in Wiltshire, including Salisbury Cathedral, which was founded by William Marshal, a Knight Templar; Amesbury Abbey, where King Richard I was buried; and Old Sarum Castle, which was built by the Templars in 1086.

In addition to these historical sites, there are also many legends and stories related to the Templars in Wiltshire that have become part of local folklore over time. For example, there is a legend that King Arthur’s sword Excalibur was buried by a Knight Templar near Stonehenge. Another popular story tells of a group of Templars who fled from persecution and settled near Avebury where they built a secret temple beneath an ancient hill fort. Whether these tales are true or not remains open to debate but they certainly add an extra layer of intrigue and mystery to Wiltshire’s connection with the Knights Templar.

Today, Wiltshire remains closely connected with the Knights Templar and their legacy can still be seen throughout the county – from historical sites such as Old Sarum Castle and Stonehenge, to modern-day organizations such as The Masonic Order of Knights Templar (which is based in Swindon). There is also an annual event called ‘The Pilgrimage’ which takes place each year at Salisbury Cathedral and sees hundreds of people come together from all over Britain to celebrate their shared connection with this medieval order of knights.

The Impact of the Knights Templar on Wiltshire

The Knights Templar were a medieval order of Christian knights who had a major presence in Wiltshire in the 12th and 13th centuries. The Templars were originally formed to protect pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land, and over time they became a powerful religious and military force. They established an influential presence in Wiltshire, where they owned numerous properties and manors, making them one of the wealthiest landowners in the region.

The Templars built several churches and chapels across Wiltshire, including St. Thomas’s Church in Chippenham, St. Mary’s Church in Amesbury, and St. Peter’s Church in Easton Royal. These churches served as sites of worship for local people as well as for members of the order. The remains of some of these churches can still be seen today.

The Templars also built several castles across Wiltshire, including Old Sarum Castle near Salisbury, Castle Combe near Chippenham, and Castle Eaton near Swindon. These castles formed part of a network that was used to defend against possible attacks from neighbouring areas or forces from abroad.

The impact of the Knights Templar on Wiltshire was significant in terms of both culture and economy. Their construction projects provided employment for local people and helped develop local trade networks that had not existed before their arrival. They also brought new ideas about religion which influenced local beliefs and customs; for example, some believe that the Templars introduced the practice of conducting rituals at stone circles such as Stonehenge which can still be seen today.

Although their presence eventually declined, it is clear that The Knights Templar had a lasting impact on Wiltshire which can still be felt today.

Last Thoughts

The Knights Templar Wiltshire are a fascinating and mysterious group who have been shrouded in mystery for centuries. They were highly influential in the Middle Ages and are still remembered today for their courage, honor, and loyalty. Despite their decline in the late Middle Ages, their legacy still lives on and is remembered by many. From their military prowess to their dedication to the Christian faith, the Knights Templar Wiltshire have left an indelible mark on history.

The impact of the Knights Templar Wiltshire is still seen today in many parts of England as well as other countries around the world. The ruins of their castles, monasteries, and other structures can still be seen in Wiltshire. Their spirit of chivalry and dedication to God can also live on in the hearts of people who follow its teachings. The Knights Templar Wiltshire remain a powerful symbol of courage, honor, and loyalty that has inspired many people throughout history.

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