The Templars' impoverished status did not last long. A nephew of one of the founding Templars Bernard de Clairvaux, spoke for them and in 1129 at The Council of Troyes, the Order were endorsed by the Church and this meant they became a favoured charity across
We met as usual at Holborn Tube station - the weather was mild (about 18C) and sunny - a lovely autumnal day. We walked along High Holborn and our first stop was outside Southampton Buildings. On this site the first Grand Master, Hugue de Payens built the first
In 1161 the Templars' numbers had increased considerably so they decided to move to a new site . they sold the site to the Bishop of Lincoln, who founded
We then walked back to
This pub is named after the general association with the Templars rather than with anything to do with the actual site, although our guide Aly believes it is so named because of it's proximity to our next Site at Bell Yard
On this site stood the Bell Hostel, owned by the Templars, where guests could stay. The surrounding lands were used as a training ground for Templar Knights before they travelled to the Crusades.
It was at this point of the walk my ears really pricked up as you will see! In 1177 the Templars prestige was increased by victory over the Saracens, but just ten years later, the beginning of their decline came with the Battle of the Horns of Hattin. On 4th July 1187, the then Grand Master, Gerard de Ridefort, led his knights, whom he believed to be invincible as they had God on their side, into the desert from
In the early 1300s King Phillip IV of
As a matter of interest, on 25th October this year, the
Anyway, I digress - back to the walk. We then proceeded to the end of
The Templars moved to their new site in 1161. They began building the new church in 1166 and it was completed in 1185, and a grand ceremony to officially dedicate the church was attended by Patriarch Heraculus of Jerusalem and King Henry II of England.
The magnificent Norman Door is seen below. Women would leave unwanted babies and children outside this door in the hope that the Templars would take them in and care for the children, which they always did. The children were given the surname of 'Templar'. Atop a handsome stone pillar in the area next to the church is the symbol of the Templars showing them as 'Poor Knights'
In an inventory in 1308, (the document still surviving today) it is shown that together with the church, there was a
King Edward II took control of the Church when the Templars declined and he gave the site to the Knights Hospitallers who were the forerunners of the St. John Ambulance Service, who do such great service at public events.
The buildings were then handed to two Law colleges which eventually became the
Well that is the end of the walk but I thought I would just add a few photos of
All photos (except The Knight Templar at top of page) copyright Orlicat . Please do not post these pictures elsewhere