The historic graves of the Knights Templar in Enville

The historic graves of the Knights Templar in Enville

LONG-forgotten graves of members of the Knights Templar have been rediscovered in a village churchyard near Stourbridge.

Researcher Edward Dyas, from Stourbridge, has been investigating the graves after discovering them in the grounds of St Mary’s Church at Enville.

It is not known why there are Templar graves at Enville although Templars were believed to attach themselves to churches dedicated to St Mary the Virgin.

The church at Enville was built in the early 12th century at a time when the Templars were creating Preceptories around Britain.

The three graves, which are believed to be around 800-years-old, each have a Templar cross within double circles in a standard Templar design and one of the graves also includes a Crusader cross indicating the knight was a Templar and a Crusader of the ancient military order.

At the foot of the Crusader’s grave there’s also a Templar Cross - a variation of the Jerusalem Cross indicating the Templar lying beneath had once been part of the Templar Order headquartered at Temple Mount, Jerusalem.

Mr Dyas said: “We believe this grave to be rare in Britain and a remarkable find.

“The knight was probably a Prior or Chaplain, of a Templar Preceptory perhaps in Shropshire but more likely Staffordshire whose Commanderie was at Onneley, near Leek.

“There are three Templar graves at Enville which confirms, we believe, a Preceptory origin since Templar custom was to have one notable Templar with two acolyte assistants.”

Mr Dyas and Mr Radmanesh have since cleaned the grave slabs of soil, moss and lichen that has accrued over centuries and their research is continuing.