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The Knights Templar in Aslackby in Lincolnshire

The Knights Templar in Aslackby in Lincolnshire
A look at these iconic and mysterious soldiers and crusaders and their life in a specific place, including a photograph of a fantastic original artefact . . .

Aslackby sits right on the edge of Fen Country in Lincolnshire, it’s got a lot of history but today we’ll confine our attentions to perhaps the most exciting part of it.
The legendary Knights Templar were once well and truly resident in Aslackby - right here in Lincolnshire.
The Templars owned land everywhere of course but not everywhere became a Templar centre, Aslackby did and the Knights Templar built a preceptory here and rather marvellously a church, not just a church but one of their signature round churches.

The preceptory was founded when Hubert of Rye gave the Religious Order the land, church and chapel circa 1164.
It was ideally situated beside a Roman Road for good transport links and the right sort of land for wool production etc.
I find this history as depressing as it is exciting . .. why?
Not much remains of the Knights Templar empire in the UK, especially Lincolnshire, we do have the Magnificent Temple Bruer of course but not much else is the form of standing stone - Aslackby was different though, much was extant relatively late in history.

The last remnant of the Preceptory Tower were still standing in 1891 when it was demolished, or supposedly fell down, the church ended up being built / rebuilt into a farmhouse which was still being described in journals in the late 18th century.
Here’s a photograph of a fabulous piece of carved stone which was saved and recorded nearly 100 years ago . . .

The Knights Templar in Aslackby, Lincolnshire

The Knights Templar in Aslackby, Lincolnshire

This piece of stone was rescued when the final remains of the Templar buildings at Aslackby were tragically demolished and this was the centre of the arched vault of the crypt !
It’s an heraldic device which I’ve been thus far unable to attribute with any definitiveness and quite marvellous, thankfully somebody in the late 1800s had the sense to offer a few quid for it.
I’ve not looked into this but I wonder where it is now . . .
Any information or snippets on the Knights Templar at Aslackby are more than welcome - if you can add anything at all then please do leave a comment.
Many thanks


  1. Amiguru said,

    October 14, 2012 @ 9:30 pm


    I’ll set the ball rolling with this from Tanner’s Notitia of 1744:


    “Vide Dodfworthii mss. lxxxix. f. 57. e rotulis hundred,in com. Linc. 3 F I i. wapent. Avelond in Kesteven ; Item, Templarii de Aslakeby tenent duas carucatas terrae in Duseby de Petro Gousil in elemosynam; Item [juratores] dicunt quod Joannes le Mareschal haeres Huberti de Ry dedit magistro militiae Templi quodd.m capitale messuagium
    in Aslakeby, et unam carucatam terrae in eadem villa, et xx. acras bosci, et c s. annui redditus in eadem villa in prejudicium domini regi;,j un quater viginti annis elaplis, ct Valent per ann.X, libras. Item, Idem Joannes de Mareschal dedit eisdem templariis eccl. de Aslakeby eodem valet XXX. marc. Item, Ricardus de Yekevile
    dedit templariis de Aslakeby unam carucatam terrae in Dusebe a temp. 40. ann. ita quod rex amit:it escaet.”

    Which, apart from the reference to Roger Dodsworth’s manuscript collection, and the Lincolnshire Hundred Rolls; I translate thus:

    “Likewise, the Templars of Aslakeby hold two carucates of land of Peter Duseby near Goxhill in alms; Also note that John Marshal heir of Hubert de Ry gave the captain of the Temple that capital messuage in Aslakeby, and one carucate of the land in the same vill, and the 20 acres of woodland, and 100 shillings of annual revenue in the same town at the gift of the lord the king; twenty four years ago,and is worth annually 10 pounds. Again, the same John Marshal gave the Templars at Aslakeby the same at the same time. and is worth 30 marks. Also, Richard Yekevile gave the Templars a carucate of land in Aslakeby Dusebe for 40 years so that the king lost the rest.”

    I’ll keep digging between other things. I have a printed copy of the Red Book of the Exchequer which I think has something relevant in it but it is not indexed, nor contented which means trawling through roughly 2000 pages of Latin!

    Sucker for Punishment :roll:

  2. Rod said,

    October 15, 2012 @ 7:25 am

    wonderful, really appreciated. I’ve just spent nearly an hour chasing a connection I thought I’d found with Grimsby - only to be mistaken !

  3. Kate said,

    October 15, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

    Hi Rod,

    been playing detective again - the coat of arms at 9 o’clock in the photo is possibly (probably?) that of Sir Thomas Lovell d1524… Originally from Norfolk and a knight of the garter as well as holding various positions of influence… as this date takes us well past the disbanding of the order, the plot thickens! If I can discover any of the other arms I shall add them here.


  4. Rod said,

    October 15, 2012 @ 6:44 pm

    some of them match devices found at Temple Bruer according to the original sources but could not be accurately attributed at the time.
    Marrat had a crack at the Chevron and 3 fleur de lis and came up with 20 possibilities . . .

  5. Kate said,

    October 15, 2012 @ 6:48 pm

    There’s a possibility that the arms at the 6 o’clock position are of the La Zouche Family; not quite sure which branch yet.

  6. Kate said,

    October 15, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

    Well, I’ll keep on trying, maybe an expert will correct me where I’m wrong and you’ll get the right ones :)

    A huge problem is that in situ, these would have been painted (polychrome) and far easier to get correct: there’s also the possibility that some of the houses are now deceased and their arms lost either in a mass of rolls and scrolls somewhere, or simply to time… Not to mention that the details on the photo are almost impossible to discern in places.

    Anyway, my computer crashed when I tried to post my take on the arms at the 5′oclock position, it is very likely of the Skipwith family; the Lincs link (urgh, bad pun) is Ormsby.


  7. Rod said,

    October 15, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

    many thanks indeed, really appreciated, and, as always, very interesting

  8. Rod said,

    October 15, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

    A Henry de Aslackby ( or Henry de Aslakeby ) was one of the Knights Templar arrested in Ireland in 1308

  9. Kate said,

    October 16, 2012 @ 1:03 am

    From ‘The History of the County of Lincoln: From the Earliest Period to the Present Day’ -Volume 2’
    … “The lower storey is vaulted and the vault is composed of eight groins. In the centre where these meet, are eight shields with various coats of arms and the middle one is charged with a cross” … The original source for this may be Camden. I’d love to know what linked these families to this site and possibly each other.

    So this was the boss stone in the vaulting (as I thought!).

    Meanwhile, some very interesting plans of the proposed restoration dating from 1892 exist on the website of the Lyndon Estate; click on their history page and scroll down to the section for Ernest William Proby Conant. According to one source I found, the tower fell down on the eve of its being repaired and the stones were moved to use in local buildings in the village - and a rockery in a nearby village!

    The closest I’ve come with the shield with the three fleur de lys and chevron is the name Hiltoft (q Huttoft? also found as Hyltoft or Hultoft), a Lincolnshire family - but by strange coincidence also it could be the arms for a chap with the surname Brown… (think ‘Da Vinci Cod’ - deliberate spelling mistake there) :)


  10. Rod said,

    October 16, 2012 @ 7:57 am

    Hi Kate,
    from the Op this was the centre of the arched vault of the crypt, it’s been noted in situ by a few antiquarians as well.

    Kate, Huttoft could well work . . .
    It’s about time we had the Da Vinci Code back in Lincolnshire - Part II anybody :)

  11. simon brighton said,

    March 1, 2013 @ 6:38 pm

    I think it remained in the garden of a house at Pointon and then was sold to a rag and bone man..

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