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Knights Templar Gloucestershire

The Knights Templar Gloucestershire is a local branch of the international Order of the Knights Templar, a chivalric and philanthropic organization that dates back to the 12th century. The Gloucestershire branch has been active since its foundation in 1901 and is committed to upholding the traditions and principles of the Order. The members of this branch are dedicated to charitable work throughout Gloucestershire, providing support to those in need and helping to promote a positive community spirit. Through their commitment to service, the Knights Templar Gloucestershire strive to provide an example for others to follow.The Knights Templar Gloucestershire, known also as the Order of the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, was a religious military order which was founded in 1119 AD in Jerusalem. Its primary purpose was to protect pilgrims travelling between Europe and the Holy Land from attack. The Order quickly spread across Europe and established a presence in Gloucestershire by 1153 AD, when it received a charter from King Henry II.

The Templars’ presence in Gloucestershire increased over time, with several Commanderies established across the county. In 1185, King Henry II granted them land at Stanway near Cheltenham, where they built a preceptory (or temple) and later fortified it. The Templar preceptory at Stanway remained active until 1308 when all Templars were arrested on suspicion of heresy and their property confiscated by the crown.

The legacy of the Knights Templar in Gloucestershire can still be seen today in many churches and former Templar sites across the county. Many have been converted into private homes or public buildings while others remain as ruins or are preserved as historical monuments. One such site is Hailes Abbey near Winchcombe, which is now an English Heritage property open to visitors.

Founding of the Order in Gloucestershire

The founding of the Order of Gloucestershire dates back to the 11th century, when it was established by King Edward I. The Order was created to recognize those who had distinguished themselves in battle and had served with distinction in the King’s service. Over the centuries, the Order has been bestowed upon various members of the royal family and nobility, as well as those who have made significant contributions to society. The Order has also been granted to individuals for their bravery and courage during times of conflict.

Today, there are several branches of the Order located throughout England, including a branch in Gloucestershire. This branch is dedicated to recognizing those who have made important contributions to their community or have served with great distinction in public service. Each year, members of this branch can nominate individuals for consideration for membership in this prestigious order.

The requirements for membership include a willingness to uphold the values and ideals of the Order, a commitment to serving society through public service, and a willingness to promote peace and justice. Once an individual has been nominated for consideration, they must go through an extensive screening process before being accepted into the Order. The process includes interviews with current members and an examination of their accomplishments in life. Once they have been accepted into membership, they are formally presented with their award at a formal ceremony presided over by King Edward I himself.

Role of the Knights Templar in Gloucestershire

The Knights Templar was a Catholic military order active from the 12th to 14th centuries. It was founded to protect Christian pilgrims travelling to and from the Holy Land. The order was also involved in many other activities, including banking, landownership and defending Christian Europe from invaders. In Gloucestershire, England, the Knights Templar had a significant role in both politics and economics during the Middle Ages.

The Templars were granted lands in Gloucestershire by King John in 1206 and established a preceptory at Newent. This was their main base of operations in the county and they also held properties at Slimbridge, Winchcombe, Wotton-under-Edge and Eastington. They were responsible for building several churches throughout the area including St John’s Church at Slimbridge and St Mary’s Church at Upleadon.

The Knights Templar also played an important role politically in Gloucestershire. During their time in the county, they were actively involved with local barons and lords as well as the Archbishop of York. They provided counsel to local rulers on matters of policy and law enforcement, as well as acting as mediators between rival factions.

Economically, the Knights Templar had a major impact on Gloucestershire by establishing farms, mills and fisheries throughout the region. They also set up trading posts along key commercial routes such as Bristol-Gloucester which helped stimulate trade with other regions of England and Europe.

In 1307 King Edward II outlawed the Order of Knights Templar due to accusations of heresy which resulted in their downfall throughout Europe. In Gloucestershire many of their properties were seized by local rulers while others were given to other religious orders such as the Hospitallers or sold off to wealthy families. Despite this setback, some aspects of their legacy still remain evident today such as their churches which can still be seen across the county.

Key Figures in the Knights Templar Gloucestershire

The Knights Templar of Gloucestershire were a religious military order of the medieval period, active from the 11th to the 14th centuries. During this time, many key figures emerged who played a significant role in the history and development of the order. These figures include:

Earl Robert FitzHamon (1055-1134) – Earl Robert was an important figure in the early days of the Knights Templar and is credited with founding their first monastery in Gloucester. He was also instrumental in arranging and organizing the Order’s finances and resources.

Bernard de Clairvaux (1090-1153) – Bernard was a French monk who played a pivotal role in reforming and developing the Order. He wrote several influential pieces on behalf of the Order, including his famous “In Praise of The New Knighthood”, which helped to promote and spread its ideals throughout Europe.

William Marshal (1146-1219) – William Marshal was one of the earliest Grand Masters of The Templars, appointed by King Richard I during his reign as King of England. Under his guidance, he established numerous preceptories throughout Europe and helped to expand their influence even further.

Geoffrey de Mandeville (1160-1216) – Geoffrey de Mandeville was another Grand Master who had a major impact on The Templars during his tenure as leader. He fought against Saladin’s forces during The Third Crusade, which proved to be an important victory for The Order. He also created many new preceptories throughout Europe, further increasing their influence and power.


The county of Gloucestershire is home to several sites and buildings associated with the Knights Templar. The ruins of the Monastery of St. Mary Magdalene, located near Berkeley Castle, are believed to date back to 1150 and were used by the Order of Knights Templar for a period of time. The remains of a chapel, built in 1219, can be seen at Southrop Manor in the Cotswolds, which is also believed to have been used by the Order. In addition, St Catherine’s Church in Chipping Campden has several carvings depicting Knights Templar imagery, as well as a stone effigy believed to be that of a Knight Templar commander.

The ruins of Woodchester Priory are also thought to have been used by the Order at some point during its history. The site includes a museum which focuses on the history of the Knights Templar and their involvement in Gloucestershire. Finally, Breamore House near Salisbury is said to have been used as an administrative centre for the Order prior to its dissolution in 1307.

Influence of the Knights Templar in Gloucestershire

The Knights Templar, also known as the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, were a religious military order founded in 1119. They were active in many parts of Europe, including Gloucestershire in England. The Templars had a profound influence on both religious and secular life in the county. In particular, they established a number of churches, monasteries and other religious houses that would have a lasting impact on the region.

The Templars were also influential in local government and politics. In 1291, they received a grant from Edward I to build a castle at Berkeley, which would become an important administrative centre for the county. They also held many manors and estates across Gloucestershire, providing them with considerable wealth and influence. This enabled them to build extensive networks of patronage which would help shape the region’s political landscape for centuries to come.

In addition to their political power, the Templars were also instrumental in introducing new technologies and scientific ideas to Gloucestershire. They introduced early forms of banking and accounting systems which helped improve local commerce and industry. They also brought new agricultural practices such as crop rotation which increased food production and helped make more land available for cultivation.

Finally, their legacy remains with us today through their cultural influences on architecture, design and art across the county. The Norman architecture that is still visible today is largely thanks to their influence; they were responsible for constructing many churches, castles and monasteries during their time here. Their artistic connections can be seen in some of our most iconic buildings such as Gloucester Cathedral, which was built under their patronage in 1089.

In summary, it is clear that the Knights Templar had a significant impact on life in Gloucestershire during their time here. Their presence helped shape many aspects of its culture; from politics to architecture to art – all bearing testament to their legacy today.

Development of the Order over Time in Gloucestershire

The Order of St. John has been an influential organisation in Gloucestershire for centuries, and its history is closely intertwined with the county’s own. The Order was first established in 1188, and soon became a major force throughout England, Wales and Scotland. It was responsible for providing medical care and assistance to those in need, as well as providing a safe haven for pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem. Over time, the Order evolved from a charitable order into a military order, becoming increasingly involved in warfare in the Holy Land.

The Order eventually spread to Gloucestershire during the 12th century, where it established a number of preceptories throughout the county. These preceptories served as both centres of religious devotion and centres of military strength for the Order. At their peak, there were over twenty preceptories throughout Gloucestershire, providing a powerful presence across the county. As well as offering medical care and assistance to those in need, these preceptories also provided protection against invading forces from Wales or France.

The Order’s presence in Gloucestershire continued to grow over the centuries that followed. The Knights Hospitaller were granted several manors by King Henry III during his reign (1216-1272), including Kempley Grange near Newent and Caldicot Castle near Monmouthshire. In addition to this, they also acquired several lands across South West England during this period, including Thornbury Castle near Bristol and Torre Abbey near Exeter. During this time, they also built numerous churches throughout Gloucestershire which still stand today, such as St John’s Church at Dymock and St John’s Church at Tormarton.

The Order continued to be active in Gloucestershire until its dissolution by King Henry VIII in 1540. Although its influence had diminished somewhat by this time due to changing political circumstances, it had still managed to establish itself as an important part of local life throughout the county. Today, many of its churches can still be visited across Gloucestershire; a reminder of its once powerful presence in the region.

The Legacy of the Knights Templar in Gloucestershire

The legacy of the Knights Templar in Gloucestershire is a fascinating one. The Knights Templar were a religious order founded during the Middle Ages to protect pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land. They were active in Gloucestershire for centuries, leaving behind a wealth of historic sites and artefacts.

Gloucestershire was home to several key Templar sites, including the Order’s headquarters at Temple Guiting and an important priory at Brimscombe. There is also evidence of several smaller sites in and around Gloucester, including some which have been lost over time.

The most visible reminder of the Templars’ presence in the county is Temple Guiting Manor House, which is believed to have been built on land owned by the Order as early as 1250AD. The building has undergone several changes since then, but retains its medieval character and features many elements associated with Templar architecture.

Temple Guiting Manor House is now home to a museum dedicated to telling the story of the Templars in Gloucestershire. Here visitors can learn about their history and explore artefacts associated with them, such as swords and shields from their time in battle.

Other relics from this period can be found throughout the county, including a set of stone effigies believed to date from around 1300AD that are now displayed in Bristol Cathedral. These effigies are thought to represent two members of the Order of Knights Templar who died during the Crusades and may be buried beneath this cathedral.

In addition to these physical reminders, there are also many tales associated with the Templars that have become part of local folklore over time. These stories often involve mysterious knights appearing out of nowhere to help those in need or perform acts of justice for wronged individuals.

Today, these legends continue to provide inspiration for authors and filmmakers alike – most recently with Dan Brown’s best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code – and serve as reminders of how significant a role these brave knights played in our history.

Overall, despite centuries having passed since they were active in Gloucestershire, it’s clear that we still feel a strong connection with these courageous warriors today – their legacy lives on!

Last Thoughts

The Knights Templar Gloucestershire is a historically significant organisation that has played a key role in the development of the region. It is an organisation with a rich history that has been passed down through generations, and it is an important part of our cultural heritage. The organisation still plays an important role in the community today, and its members are committed to carrying on its legacy. The work of the Knights Templar Gloucestershire is testament to their dedication to preserving and protecting our cultural heritage, and their commitment to helping others in need.

The Knights Templar Gloucestershire have been an integral part of the region’s history for centuries, and their legacy lives on today. They have served as a role model for generations of people who have been inspired by their commitment to serving others and protecting our cultural heritage. As we move into the future, it is important that we continue to honour their legacy and recognize their contribution to our society.
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