The Knights Templar
Updated: Oct 8
This week I took a little trip over to Ribston Hall near Knaresborough. it’s a private residence much like many of the stately homes in our area, although I don’t believe it caters for public viewing as many of them do, which is a shame as it houses a medieval chapel which is connected to the Knights Templar.
The house is a 17th century Mansion. The estate at Ribston however goes back long before the 17th century to the arrival of the Templars in 1128 with the first Yorkshire Preceptary being established in 1142
The Poor Fellow-Solders of Christ and the Temple of Solomon known in short as The Knight Templar were a Catholic Millatry order founded in 1119, headquartered on the Temple Mountin in Jerusalem.
The Templars became a favoured charity throughout Christendom and were gifted money, land, businesses, and noble-born sons from families who were eager to help with the fight in the Holy Land.
From 1217 Ribston was a preceptory of the Knights Templars. The templars had grown rapidly in wealth and power and quickly established a strong hold accross Europe the Near East and England. They had built armies and established crusades throughout the holy lands. Templar knights, in their distinctive white mantles with a red-cross, were among the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades.
The Preceptories of which there were around 10 in Yorkshire, (the largest number in the country), were effectively templar monastery and would be filled with everything you’d expect from a monasterial community; they had buildings comprising of domestic quarters and monastic workplaces for monks, whether living in communities or alone (hermits). They would also include accommodation and work for the poor, as well as a range of agricultural and manufacturing buildings such as a barns, forges and breweries.
The preceptories then, were thriving communities - living off the rich agricultural land, helping the locals to live full religious lives through God.
Here’s a few more facts about the hall:
The mansion is now owned by the Dent family. The Ribston pippin apple was first grown here.
There is a jousting field in the grounds of the hall.
The ‘Bloodless Revolution’, was hatched here.