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Knights Templar Cambridgeshire

The Knights Templar of Cambridgeshire were a medieval Christian military order of knighthood founded in 1119 by nine knights, including Hugh de Payens and Godfrey de Saint-Omer. The order was founded to protect and defend pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land from the threat of attack by Islamic forces. After the fall of Jerusalem, the Knights Templar established a presence in Europe and especially in England, where they became one of the most powerful religious-military orders in the country. The Templars’ influence spread throughout Cambridgeshire, where they built churches and castles, and were influential in local government. Although the Knights Templar were disbanded by King Philip IV of France in 1312, their legacy continues to this day in various forms throughout Cambridgeshire.The Knights Templar of Cambridgeshire was one of the most influential religious and military orders of the Middle Ages. It was established during the 12th century to protect pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem and to defend the Holy Land from Muslim invaders. The Knights Templar had a strong presence in Cambridgeshire, England, where they built several castles and churches. The Templars held a charter from King John of England that allowed them to establish a priory in Cambridge, which was used as a base for their operations in England. In 1185, the Templars were granted a Charter of Lands from King Richard I, which gave them control over various lands in Cambridgeshire. This allowed the Templars to build more castles and churches in the region. Over time, the Order became increasingly powerful and wealthy, leading to their eventual downfall when they were accused of heresy by King Philip IV of France in 1307. The Knights Templar were disbanded in 1312 by Pope Clement V. Despite their disbandment, many of their castles and churches still exist today as reminders of their once powerful presence in Cambridgeshire.

Origins of the Knights Templar

The origins of the Knights Templar can be traced back to the time of the First Crusade in 1099. At that time, a group of nine French knights led by Hugues de Payens vowed to protect Christian pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land. With the support of King Baldwin II, they established a base in Jerusalem where they could provide protection and shelter for pilgrims. This was the start of what would become known as the Order of the Temple, or more commonly, the Knights Templar.

Over the following years, their reputation grew significantly and they were given considerable privileges by various kings and popes. In 1128 Pope Honorius II officially recognised them as an order and bestowed upon them many privileges including exemption from taxes and tithes. This allowed them to accumulate wealth which enabled them to build their own castles, villages and churches across Europe.

The order was also given extensive lands in England where they established several preceptories (headquarters). These included London, York, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire. The headquarters at Temple Manor in London is one of few remaining relics today which provides insight into how grand these buildings must have been at the time.

In 1307 King Philip IV of France decided to take action against them as he felt threatened by their power and influence. He arrested all Templars within his realm and confiscated all their possessions. This ultimately led to their demise but their legacy still lives on today with many monuments throughout Europe commemorating their existence.

The Role of the Knights Templar Cambridgeshire

The Order of the Knights Templar was a noble religious order founded in 1119 in Jerusalem. The order was formed to protect Christian pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land and was responsible for defending the holy sites of Christianity from Muslim invaders. The order’s presence in Cambridgeshire dates back to 1185 and its members were given large areas of land throughout the county, including in Cambridge and Ely. These areas were known as ‘preceptories’ and were used by the Templars for agricultural activities as well as providing defence against invaders.

The Knights Templar had a significant influence on the development of the region, with the Order playing a major role in local politics and administration. They provided financial backing to local lords and built churches, castles and other defensive structures. They also provided protection to persecuted minorities, such as Jews, who had been driven out of England by King Edward I in 1290.

The Templars also played an important role in helping to spread Christianity throughout Cambridgeshire. They helped establish monasteries, several of which remain today, such as those at Ely and Barnwell Priory near Cambridge. They also established several religious schools throughout the county, providing religious education to both adults and children.

In addition, the Templars helped build a network of roads connecting towns across Cambridgeshire which allowed for easier trade between regions. This network helped boost local economies and increased prosperity throughout the county.

The Templars’ influence on Cambridgeshire declined after 1307 when King Philip IV of France accused them of heresy and dissolved their order. Many members were arrested or executed while others fled abroad or went into hiding. However, some remained in Cambridgeshire where their legacy can still be seen today through their buildings and monuments which remain standing across the county.


The Knights Templar was an organization of warrior monks founded in the 12th century. They were the most prominent military order in the Middle Ages, led by the Grand Master of the Temple. The Order was divided into provinces, each headed by a Provincial Master. Each province was further divided into preceptories, or commanderies, which were headed by Preceptors or Commanders. Each preceptory then had a number of knights and sergeants who served under its command. The entire organization was overseen by the Grand Master and his Council of Officers.


The hierarchy of the Knights Templar began with the Grand Master at the top, followed by a number of Officers, including a Marshal, a Turcopolier (or Constable), and a Grand Commander. These Officers were responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Order’s operations. Below them was an array of lower-ranking members, such as knights and sergeants. The lowest rank in the order was that of squire, who acted as an assistant to higher-ranking members.

The hierarchy within each preceptory also had its own structure. At the top was a Preceptor or Commander who oversaw all operations within his jurisdiction; below him were knights and sergeants who served under his command. Squires were often assigned to assist these higher ranking members in their duties.

In Cambridgeshire specifically, there were three preceptories: Ramsey Abbey in Huntingdonshire; Templars’ Hall in Ely; and Balsham Preceptory near Cambridge. Each preceptory had its own hierarchy which followed that outlined above.

The Battle of La Forbie

The Battle of La Forbie took place in 1244 in Cambridgeshire. The battle saw the Knights Templar, led by Grand Master Odo de St Amand, fight against a large Muslim army led by Sultan al-Kamil. This was one of the most decisive battles of the Crusades, and resulted in a crushing defeat for the Muslims. The battle was considered to be a major victory for the Knights Templar, who were able to protect their holdings in Acre from further attack.

The Siege of Acre

In 1189, the Knights Templar joined forces with King Richard I of England in order to lay siege to Acre. The siege lasted for two years before finally being successful and Acre was taken by the Christian forces. This was an important victory for both the Templars and King Richard as it marked an end to Muslim control in the city and allowed them access to Jerusalem.

The Fall of Acre

In 1291, after two centuries of Christian rule, Acre fell to Muslim forces and the last remaining members of the Knights Templar were forced to retreat from the city. This marked an end to their long-held presence in Acre and effectively ended their involvement in any further crusades or battles. Despite this setback, they continued to remain active elsewhere until 1312 when Pope Clement V officially dissolved them.

The Trial of Jacques de Molay

Jacques de Molay was a French knight who served as Grand Master of the Knights Templar from 1292 – 1314. He is most famous for his trial before Pope Clement V at Poitiers in 1314 where he was accused of heresy and sodomy amongst other charges. Despite denying all allegations against him he was found guilty and burned at the stake on March 18th 1314. His death is often seen as a martyrdom among those who venerate him today.

The Significance of the Knights Templar Cambridgeshire

The Knights Templar of Cambridgeshire were a prominent order in the Middle Ages. It was founded in 1119 and was active until its dissolution in 1312. During this time, they were a powerful force in Europe, with considerable influence over religious, political and military matters. In Cambridgeshire, they had a major presence, owning and managing several large estates. They also held considerable power within the area, providing protection for local communities and helping to keep order during times of unrest.

The Knights Templar of Cambridgeshire were renowned for their charitable works and acts of generosity towards the people they protected. They also played an important role in maintaining law and order within the region by providing a strong military presence. This allowed them to protect local communities from any threats that may arise from outside forces or other internal conflicts. Additionally, their presence had a positive effect on local economies by providing goods and services which helped to boost trade and employment opportunities.

The Knights Templar of Cambridgeshire were also known for their religious devotion and commitment to Christianity. They helped to spread the Christian faith throughout Europe by building churches and monasteries in areas that needed spiritual guidance and support. Furthermore, they provided education to those who wanted to learn more about Christianity or develop theological skills. In addition, they provided medical care for those who needed it.

Overall, the Knights Templar played an important role in Cambridgeshire during the Middle Ages. Their presence had a positive effect on many aspects of life in the region, including economics, politics, religion and law enforcement. Thus, their legacy lives on today as an example of how powerful institutions can contribute positively to society as a whole.

The Military Impact of the Knights Templar

The Knights Templar were one of the most powerful military forces during the Middle Ages. Formed in 1119, they served as an elite fighting force in the Crusades, protecting Christian pilgrims and territories in the Holy Land. The Templars were highly disciplined, highly trained and well-armed warriors that fought with bravery and resolve against their Muslim adversaries. In addition to their military prowess, they also gained a reputation for their strong sense of chivalry and loyalty to King and Church. The Templars were disbanded by Pope Clement V in 1312, but their legacy lives on in modern military organizations around the world.

The Financial Impact of the Knights Templar

The Knights Templar were also known for their financial prowess. During their time, they developed a complex system of banking that allowed them to move large sums of money quickly and securely across borders. This system was used by European rulers to help finance wars, launch expeditions and pay for other activities related to their power structures. Their banking services also provided safe havens for wealth during times of political unrest or war. This made them very popular among royalty and other members of nobility throughout Europe.

The Cultural Impact of the Knights Templar

The cultural impact of the Knights Templar cannot be understated either. They had a strong influence on medieval architecture, art and literature with numerous churches, castles and monuments built in their honor or featuring aspects from their ideology or symbolism. Their legacy is also reflected in popular culture today with movies such as Indiana Jones featuring characters inspired by them or books such as Dan Brown’s ‘Da Vinci Code’ exploring some aspects from their history.

Cambridgeshire Artifacts Linked to the Knights Templar

The historic county of Cambridgeshire has long been associated with the Knights Templar, a medieval religious and military order. The county is home to numerous sites and artifacts linked to the Templars, including the ruins of their former Grand Commander’s house in Cambridge. The ruins are believed to date back to the 12th century and are now owned by Cambridge University. Other artifacts found in Cambridgeshire that have been linked to the Templars include a large stone cross located near the village of Swaffham Prior and a 13th-century sword discovered in the town of Ely. The sword is thought to have belonged to one of the knights who served in England during their time as an active religious order.

In addition, there are several churches in Cambridgeshire with connections to the Templars, including St John’s Church in Cambridge, which was originally built as a chapel for Temple Cowley, a former Templar preceptory. This church was also used as a meeting place for Templars during their time in England, and its walls still contain carvings depicting scenes from Templar history. Other churches in the area with possible links to the Templars include St Botolph’s Church in Cambridge, which was built on land given by King John I after his failed siege of Jerusalem.

Finally, there is evidence that suggests that Knights Templar were active in some other parts of Cambridgeshire during their time as an active religious order. For example, there is an area near Balsham known as ‘Temple End’ which may have been named after them due to its proximity to a now-lost Templar preceptory nearby. While this evidence is circumstantial at best, it does suggest that some aspects of Templar life may have been present in this part of England during their time here.

Last Thoughts

The Knights Templar Cambridgeshire were an organization of Christian knights who sought to protect pilgrims on their journey to the Holy Land. They were a powerful force in medieval Europe, and their legacy is still remembered today. The history of the Templars is shrouded in mystery, but it is clear that they had a significant impact on medieval society and culture. Today, they are remembered as a symbol of courage and faith, and their story still resonates with people around the world.

The Templars left behind a rich legacy in Cambridgeshire, which can be seen in the ruins of the monasteries that they built. While much of this history has been lost, what remains provides us with insight into the way of life of these brave men and their devotion to God. The Knights Templar Cambridgeshire will continue to inspire us with their courage and faith for generations to come.
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