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The Knights Templar and Lundy

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The Knights Templar and Lundy

Lundy Island has two indisputable links to the Knights Templar. 

One past, one present. 

Firstly, the Templars owned Lundy in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and, secondly, on the eastern side of Lundy Island, where it faces the rising sun, there is a rock formation in the shape of a head, known as Knight Templar Rock

Knight Templar Rock on Lundy Island, England

Historical records show that King Henry II granted Lundy Island  to the Order of the Temple in 1160. The granting of estates and land to the Templars was widespread in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. 

'The King of Portugal gave them a forest. Since the forest happened to be occupied by the Saracens, the Templars organised an attack, drove out the Moors, and in the process founded Coimbra.' Umberto Eco; Foucault's Pendulum.

The Templars were a major international maritime force at this time, with interests in North Devon, and almost certainly an important port at Bideford / Barnstaple,  and the reason for the grant was undoubtedly strategic rather than economic. Probably to prevent the island being used as a base for pirates to prey on the shipping lanes or the reason might be related to the threat posed by the Norse sea raiders.  The Lord of the Isles could muster no less than 160 Norse warships for an invasion of the west of Scotland in 1164.

As regards possessing Lundy, William de Marisco was fined in 1194-5 for retaining possession of the island against the King's wishes and the Templars rights. 

In 1199, the first year of his reign, King John confirmed the grant of the island to the Templars,- 

“Carts Regis Johannis de Insula LondeŁe.

“Johannis Dei gratia, &c. Sciatis nos Concessise et presenti Cart‚ nostr‚ confirmasse in liberam et perpetuam elemosinam pro salute nostr‚ et anteces≠sorum et successorum nostrorum. Deo et fratribus militiae templi Jerusalem Insulam de Lnndeia que sita est in man in ore Sabrini fluminis inter Tinbeth et Bardestapulam, quare volumus et firmiter procipimus quod pnefati fratres Templi eandem Insulam habeant et teneant totam in liberam et perpetuam elemosinam bene et in pace libere et quiete integre et plenarie et honorifice cum omnibus libertatibus et liberis consuetudinibus sicut Carta Henrici Regis patris nostri quam inde habent testatum Testi Waltero Rothomagensi.

Dat per manum H. Cant Archiepiscopi Cancellarii nostri apud Saqium Anno Regni nostri primo.

Until such time as they could take possession, King John granted them the revenues of certain lands in Somerset belonging to the de Marisco family.. The Templars are recorded as still holding these lands in 1202. In 1213 the Templars received from the treasury the sum of £10 for the island and in 1220 the King, by then Henry III, granted them 100 shillings in lieu and full recompense for it.

The historical records seem to indicate that the Knights Templar never gained physical possession of Lundy or made any serious attempt to do so

As to as a connection between the Templars ownership of Lundy and Knight Templar Rock. There seems to be no definitive answer but there are a few intriguing possibilities.

It's been suggested to me, in private correspondence so I have to respect the writer and be a bit vague here, that this head may have served as a marker/indicator/pointer to a Templar treasure related location in the Americas.

farfetched?  read West to America?

( The welsh Prince Llewellyn is recorded as having made landfall on Lundy in the ? century, on his voyage from Wales to the Americas. ) 

From the list of charges drawn up by the Inquisition against the Knights Templar; August 1308

Item....that in each province they had idols, namely heads.

Item....that they adored these idols...


or what about this from the best-selling The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

"Langdon set down his empty can of Coke hard. 'You won't believe this,' he said, turning to the others. 'The Templar headstone - I figured it out.'

Teabing's eyes turned to saucers. 'You know where the headstone is?'

Langdon smiled. 'Not where it is. What it is.' 

'I think the headstone references a literal stone head.'"





The Knights Templar and Lundy; from The Knights Templar published by Mystic Realms

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