At home with the Knights Templar – Yorkshire

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The Knights Templar were formed at the end of the First Crusade to protect Christian pilgrims on route to the Holy Land.

The head of the Templar Knights was the Grand Master, based in Jerusalem. Each country also had its own Master and then there was a Grand Preceptors who would control the order’s estates in the county.

From humble beginnings the order went on to have the backing of the Holy See and European monarchies. They became very rich and powerful.

This, along with the secrecy of their initiation rites, attracted the anger of Philip IV of France and the order was charged with heresy and immorality in 1307.

After a royal inquest, where torture was freely employed, they were found guilty. Their wealth was confiscated and the order disbanded. The Grand Master and many of his followers were burned at the stake.

In England the Templars (including Geoffrey de Arches, the last preceptor of Temple Newsam) were absolved of their sins and sent to abbeys to do penance. Kirkstall Abbey was one of the places that received disgraced Templars.

Each of the Templars’ estates centred around a preceptory – a combination of a monastery and farmstead. The knights who came there would learn to fight and to pray.

There were several preceptories in Yorkshire including Temple Newsam, Wetherby, Ribston near Knaresborough and Temple Hirst near Selby.

The manor of Newsam (which means ‘new houses’) was granted to the Knights Templar in around 1155. The ‘Temple’ was added to the name in honour of the Templars. From the original documents we can see that land at Newsam, Skelton, Colton and Whitkirk was given to the Knights by Henry DeLacy “for the salvation of my soul”.

The Templar farmstead was located about half a mile to the south of the present Temple Newsam House, close to the river Aire.

An excavation of the site was carried out by West Yorkshire Archaeological Service in 1991 and found out about the way of life at Temple Newsam in the 12th century.

The dig revealed a huge barn, over 45m long, which may well have been one of the largest of its kind in England in its time. After the harvest, corn would have been stacked and threshed in the barn.

There were also a number of other buildings including a possible granary and the outlines of several pits that may have contained barrels for use in tanning leather.

When the Knights Templar were disbanded Temple Newsam was handed back to the crown. Agents of Edward II made an inventory of the estate at around this time in 1311. From this we can see that there were no treasures mentioned on the inventory, mostly basic and practical items.

The real wealth of Temple Newsam lay in the farm and its produce. In 1311 the estate had over 1000 sheep as well as cattle and pigs. The granary contained wheat, peas and oats.

Despite the romantic stories and mysteries associated with the Templar Knights, the preceptory at Temple Newsam was very much a working farm, with any profits used to fund the crusades overseas.


21 thoughts on “At home with the Knights Templar – Yorkshire

    a said:
    March 26, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    17 y 18 de Marzo 2007 – Martirio de Jacques de Molay – Tercera visita al Vaticano
    La Orden Soberana del Temple de Cristo se persona en la Ciudad del Vaticano Roma para solicitar la Rehabilitación de la Orden del Temple

    Una representación de Caballeros y Amazonas de la Orden Soberana del Temple de Cristo, como es habitual en perfecta formación, se presento en la Secretaria de Estado (puerta de bronce) para entregar las cartas que solicitan JUSTICIA para los pobres soldados de Cristo…

    Continua en sección NOTICIAS

    A group of Templar Knights and Amazones was in the Vatican city giving the letters asking for JUSTICE to the Poors soldiers of Christ…

    Continues in Noticias (news)

    Most Popular Posts « Templar Globe said:
    November 5, 2007 at 3:30 am

    […] 1. (-) At home with the Knights Templar – Yorks […]

    Michael said:
    April 22, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam!

    Grüße aus Deutschland

    harrison mellor said:
    May 13, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    the templars are of the highest order of english freemasonry

    james said:
    October 11, 2008 at 8:40 am

    i hope there will be more good pictures coming

    John said:
    February 12, 2009 at 5:36 am

    I dont think that europe had corn in the 12th century.

    ijoel said:
    June 8, 2009 at 8:40 am

    i want to be templar.

    toms said:
    June 20, 2009 at 9:26 am

    templars were real warriors sworn to defend the church and christianity…..
    i want to know whether their descendents are still alive.

    toms said:
    June 20, 2009 at 9:27 am

    me too

    AndrewRN said:
    July 6, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    templars are honorable warriors whose dedicated duty to defend and protect.

    me, too.

    Mr Prince said:
    July 8, 2009 at 3:26 am

    in regards to my knowledge on the existence of the sarcophagus. and my solici for the feminine world i sincerely suggest a meeting with any strong member of the prior.p.s

    richard abou jawdeh said:
    July 22, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    hi bro i m lebanese and from lodge prince of lebanon nice to be in contact …

    Samantha Aungle said:
    November 8, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Think of me as a modern day Joan of Arc…do not forget the power and might of women..I see this way as spiritual and for the protection and good of all.. A rose scent beyond that have been confirned by myself as a Catholic in holy communion in church on Saturday7th November 2009. Christ a-rose from heaven!! God bless all!!

    bernard martin said:
    December 25, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    is there any way that I can join the knights templar I am a mason and a shriner
    for over thirty five years and I read all I can about the knights templar , they are
    my heros .
    the knights made one mistake they let the superiors put them down when they
    could have revolted and won , they had the man power and the money for a long
    battle,but they are still my heros church or no church they gave in when they could have won I WANT TO BE A TEMPLAR MARTIN

    Dave Mastry said:
    April 30, 2010 at 3:25 pm


    Dave Mastry said:
    April 30, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Ravenscroft was right…the Templars have been reborn for this time…[and some of the Arthurians]…”Palrapar”!

    steve said:
    May 4, 2010 at 2:09 am

    do masons have anything to do wit templars
    i mean im catholic and the templars are heros of the church but masons are the exact opisite
    please help

    Brent Hyde said:
    May 6, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Considering the fact that you are not supposed to tell people you are a mason, I doubt you really are. And Templar status is not passed on through the descendents. Feel free to email me if you want to know more.

    Robert said:
    June 22, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    In Missouri we are allowed and are very open about membership. Both being a 3rd degree master mason and a Sr Knight I am a proud member of both of these groups. They go hand in hand. The church tarnished the name of the masons due to fear about our secret rituals. Ironic infact because the chirch has MANY secret rituals they do that noone ever talks about. We, as masons, are good honest people who just want to make a diference in the world and in our lives. Being a mason is about changing who we are as a man to be more like the people we should be. This is done through stories that are enacted by brothers in ritual settings. Very deep spiritual meanings to each and every mason.

    J.R. Osorio said:
    June 25, 2010 at 3:45 am

    simple spoiled peasants,,,Templars stood for the best of society. They did not wish to become a Templar…their way of life and years of representing societies most upstanding warriors allowed others to recruit them as Templars…so please respect the 3 perscent of societies by recognizing that most of you are in the 97th percentile of society known as the consumers and followers…not leaders…sorry, I realize Hollywood has given many false hopes.

    KEITH DANSEY said:
    March 1, 2012 at 11:57 am

    How do I get permission to reproduce the above picture on a website ( to put next to an unpublished manuscript? Regards, Keith Dansey

Comments are closed.