History explorer: The Knights Templar

Helen Nicholson and Charlotte Hodgman visit Temple Church in London to explore an order of warrior monks who won glory on the battlefields of the Holy Land in the 12th and 13th centuries...

The Temple Church, London, a late 12th-century church built for and by the Knights Templar. (Photo by LatitudeStock - David Williams/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the January 2017 issue of BBC History Magazine

Hidden in plain sight between bustling Fleet Street and the busy waters of the river Thames is Temple Church, an oasis of calm in the heart of London. Our journey to the church is by way of a ‘secret’ passageway, a cobbled lane that today echoes to the clip-clop of smart shoes and the rumble of cases. The passageway conveys you to a site that, 800 years ago, was the English headquarters of the Knights Templar, an order of warrior monks whose raison d’être was to guard pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land and protect territory captured during the First Crusade.

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