The Knights Tempar and the Western Heights of Dover, England

The Knights Tempar and the Western Heights of Dover, England

Standing on the Western Heights above Dover are the stone foundations of a small chapel, which has been linked to the Knights Templar. 

The port of Dover, the chief departure point for pilgrimages to the Holy Land, was an obvious place for the Templars to have held property, but they are believed to have left the town before 1185 and so their links to this particular site are on fact somewhat tenuous.

The chapel, built in the 12th century, had a circular nave 10 metres (33 feet) in diameter and a rectangular chancel. It is built mainly of flint rubble with ashlar facings. 

The form mirrors that of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, and it is this association that has suggested the link with the Templars.

The church followed the same plan as the New Temple Church in London but smaller in scale. It was probably used before the church moved to Temple Ewell in 1170.

The buried foundations were discovered in the early 19th century during the construction of the Western Heights military defences. Only the flint and mortar core of the foundations and a small area of stone facing survive.