Tag Archive: Freemasons


QUEST 29: MARCH 2020

It is always so exciting to go on a surprise quest and Quest 29 into Suffolk was most certainly that! It was March 29th and a gorgeous springtime day, a bit chilly but the sky was blue and clear; it was also just before ‘lockdown’ in the UK and so upon looking back i was doubly glad we were able to get out and about when we did. Suffolk is a beautiful area of East Anglia with many pretty, unspoilt villages and beautiful old churches too, with many surpises when it comes to our quests. The churches we visited were of course all Knight Templar related, all a part of, and with connections to our grail quest; the whole area being part of a large Roman encapement in its day.

  • All Saints Church Icklingham
  • Saint James Church Icklinham
  • All Saints Church Wordwell
  • Saint Mary the Virgin Church Cavendish

 

All Saints Church Icklington: The church is set in a pretty landscaped area with wide views across the countryside. All Saints Church is a redundant Anglican church, it is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade 1 listed building and is under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. It is of Norman and English Gothic architectural style built in the fourteenth century. The church stands in the highest point in the village, adjacent to the A1101 road between Mildenhall and Bury St Edmunds; this was formerly the ancient trackway of the Roman Empire, the Icknield Way, in 120AD. The church was almost completely rebuilt in the 14th century with a south porch added in the 15th century. Sadly the church has been unused for over 100 years, being declared redundant in the 1970s. The roof has been re-thatched in the traditional manner with the rest of the church being constructed in flint rubble with freestone dressing. Read more about the church below:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Saints%27_Church,_Icklingham

The church has a wonderful feel to it when one enters, no surprise as Icklingham has a important connection to our previous quest to Autun in France. Obviously there was a huge Roman presence in Autun too, which you will know if you have read our previous quest, Icklingham would have been a pathway into East Anglia for the Romans. The whole area here was a very large Roman encampment with thousands and thousands of troops being present in 124 AD, reaching all the way up to Wordwell. It was not only an invasion, but a transformation of the whole area too.

 

The interior of All Saints Church Icklingham <click to enlarge>

There are some stunning medieval tyles on the floor, with very well peserved Templar Symbolism, some with ‘the flowers and the petals of life’ connecting to the Knight Templars, whom would certainly have used this church. We are looking at the year 1314 here, when Jaques de Molay was burnt at the stake; yet the Templars did flee from France to survive in other areas, and Icklingham was one such area where they recieved some kind of unofficial Sanctuary. The tiles on the floor are original and of course we did not walk on them, but they were amazing to see, one that caught our eye, had a great depth of detail on it, which can be seen in our video and photos.

 

The original floor tyles with Templar symbology

The church is still in an original, natural state and has not been ‘victorianised’ at all. It still has most of its original features from the thatched roof, the pulpit, the original spiral stairs (now leading nowhere) and even an old original wrought iron funeral cart with original wheels and spokes, still in working order. One can certainly imaging the pall-bearers pushing it along with its coffin on board, entering the service, with the noise of the iron wheels reverberating upon the stone floors, echoing throughout the chambers of the church. Nearby is a wonderful church organ by W. Howlett and Son, an item any musical person would simply love. Even though it could have done with a very good clean it did add to the ascetics of the church, rather than being of any functionality. The pews of course are original complete with by-gone graffitti, from a time when folks would have sat there in the church listening to the sermons of Reverend, one can well imagine bored tots sittng there and picking away at the wood. So much history here; so many stories to be told.

The recently thatched roof is beautifully crafted allowing straw to fall naturally to the ground, just as it would have all those many years ago. There is a fairly modern, yet lovely stained-glass window depicting two of the saints, with many theories abounding in the area as to who they actually are; our understanding is that they are James and Peter – James to the left and Peter to the right. Almost under the window is an original wooden built up pew, which one enters by a hinged and brackets door in order to be able to sit down, and with its high bible-rest in front, it is almost like being in the dock! The stone pulpit (or font) is also original and in good condition, save for a bit of wear and tear. We were unable to find the stone carvings we were interested in, neither on the inside or outside of the church, so sadly maybe they never survived the test of time. A very interesting church with lots of references to the Templars, the Roman Empire, but very importantly, let us not forget King Arthur himself. Our Templar history informs us that Lancelot Desposyni was in this area on his travels, journeying through the area, visiting St James Church. King Arthur and Lancelot, when one separates them from the ‘myths and legends‘, did not just travel to one area, they moved around, changing things, transforming things during the times that we know as the ‘Dark Ages’. An amazing church with many untold stories to tell…. This would have been the most ‘energetic’ church of the day.

DSC01193

Standing in front of the old funeral carts

See our video below to take a stroll inside the church:

ALL SAINTS CHURCH ICKLINGHAM

Saint James Church Icklinham: Sadly when we arrived at this church it appeared to be well and truly locked up and maybe closed for health and safety reasons , so just a quick write up with a few shots from outside. It looked a peaceful church on the outside with some important items for us to see inside, but in a fairly built up area and a shame it was closed.

 

 I am including a link which contains several photos of the interior of the church which we did not get to see: http://www.suffolkchurches.co.uk/icklingj.html

In brief, it is a Medieval Church, which has been restored, in an area where there would have been a Roman encampment on land occupied by the Romans in 120 AD. It would have been a Knights Templar preceptory in times past, 1066-1539 AD, even more reason to have been able to go inside. The Knights Templars did exist beyond the burning at the stake of Jaques de Molay in 1314. The namesake of the church St James, was the first disciple of Jesus and the patron saint of Spain, he was sadly executed by sword in 44 AD at Judea, Jerusalem and importantly was linked to Lancelot of Valencia, Spain.

All Saints Church Wordwell: After going slightly off course through the countryside and down a small lane, to end up at a completely different church, we finally arrived at this still out of the way church at Wordwell. All Saints is a redundant Anglican church, it is recorded in the National Heritage list for England as a designated Grade 1 listed building and is under the care of the Churches Conversation Trust. It was established in 1129 AD, prior to a Roman Empire encapement. The present church is a tiny Norman church, restored in the Victorian period and containing some superb medieval and Norman carvings.

‘Wordwell’ is an interesting name, with various meanings just crying out for some further research. All Saints Church at Wordwell still has its original construction; it was established at the time of the Templars, being used frequently by the Knights of the area at the time, and further going forwards into the midpoint of the thirteen hundreds, it was used as Sanctuary for the Templars, as they fled from Europe during the time of their demise, thus the church has so much history attached to it.

The church had a very nice feel to it, good energies were present. There were some interesting windows; one showed a triskellian and upon looking closer a pyramid within a petaled flower, shown in the form of a triangular pyramid ascending within a petaled flower, which is unusual. At first gance this could be seen as very masonic, but one must ask, which came first, the chicken or the egg? As we have learnt previously, the Freemasons were formed after the Knights Templars, lest we forget.

The old original church organ, here in the church with its big square paddles, is now being used as a table for leaflets, but it looks like it may be in good working order. However nearby and just above the organ, is indeed the prize catch of this church in every way, shape or form, in the form of a wonderful oiginal wall carving, which could almost be mistaken for being Sumerian, in style, being very reminiscent of the clay tablets. The people shown in the carving are of quite a short build; the carving having been viewed differently by different people over time; some folks thinking it is of St Catherine or the other saints, but it is non of them; there being other reasons for it being what it is. What is interesting is that the figures are both male, not as in male and female as often thought. One figure is holding a ring which is being given to the other male, but not in a context of marriage, more of in a binding ceremony, a binding with G-d context. A very interesting find indeed, of which one does not often get to see in an English church in this day and age. One cannot help but wonder why it is there and the full story behind it.

The interior of the church, showing the very unusual carving <please click to enlarge>

Moving around, the wooden pews are all beautifully carved with animals and folaige, and have aged wonderfully over the years. The atmosphere of the church, its age and how it has been set out certainly brings to mind that famous Knight Templar painting entitled ‘The Acolade’. The scene here before us, is very reminiscent of that particular painting with the steps acending as the Templar comes forward, to bow and drop three times before reaching the altar (thrice the times). The church is very well looked after and has very well preserved tyles on the floor, with many Galic symbols represented. One can see represented in the tyles;  earth, air, fire and water, with the most important symbols being fire and water, (south and west)  (the water and the fire), which gives us ‘pure light’. We know from history that the south-western quadrant is always the most important; in Masonic terms a candidate is asked ‘Why did you leave the west to travel east?‘ and later on on ‘Why did you leave the east to travel west?‘ The response would be ‘In search of Light in Craft’, however when they reach the west they dont find the Light in Craft because then, in the west, the candidates are later on informed in their degrees (from the 42nd degree upwards), that they need to head south to find the Light in Craft. They have to then journey from the east to the west, and thence instructed to go south, (south-west), which is most important, as it is the ‘pure-light’ of the compass-points.

There are some interesting restored artworks on the other window with a cow emblem at the top, albeit a very intricate stylised design, but i saw it clearly, although some may not see it at all. Also there is the ‘fan-fare‘ wheel in the window and a ‘triklesite’ aspect to the right and to the left. On the high altar is a lovely red and gold altar cloth with some nice old guilding from around the 1900’s, probably replaced at some point, but lovely non the less. At the back of the altar on the wall carvings, one can see the ‘flowers of life’, being the daisy and the tulip, there are other schools of thought on this subject, but this is correct. There are some wonderful quotes upon the wall behind the altar, one in particular from Exodus, see the photo below for the full quote.

Truth and religion in the UK today, has become a very flexible subject and often open to many interpretations, yet for those whom profess to follow the faith and the path; it says very clearly here, that thou shall have non other gods but me, no other gods, apart from G-d; we know already that there are angels and djinn, but no other gods which is very important to not forget. For a small church there is a lot going on here, a lot of history; this church being on a par I noticed, with the one we visited in Mepal recently on our Fenland Quest, the same level and size etc. Much to take away with us from this visit, much to pause and think about. This was probably the best church of the day from a conservation viewpoint, the most enigmatic church.

See our video below to take a stroll around the church:

ALL SAINTS CHURCH WORDWELL

Saint Mary the Virgin Church Cavendish: This was the last church of the day, in the pretty village of Cavandish. St Mary the Virgin Chirch is a grade 1 listed parish church in  Cavandish, Suffolk. It was built in the 1300’s, thus only 700 years old, yet built on much earlier foundations over earlier buildings, earlier temples etc. This church is mostly 14th-century, with building dating from about 1300 to about 1485, with some 19th-century additions and alterations. The oldest parts of the church, dating from about 1300, are the Tower, the Porch and the lower parts of the walls of the aisles. In 1350 the South aisle walls were rebuilt to their present height and new windows were inserted. The exterior of the church is dressed in flint, as are many of the churches and buildings of the area. While we were there extensive renovations were being carried out and much of the church, including the tower were hidden under scaffolding; we were lucky it was actually open to us. Some beautiful artworks are in the church and although it has been modernised over its 700 years of time, this does not distract from its interest and it is kept beautifully clean and tidy. What we noticed straight away upon entering, was the baptismal roles for folks of the area on the wall, showing a Lynne Clarke baptised in 1964, (so could be still alive). Clarke is one of the blood-lines we are tracing, so an interesting find, and on another listing , on the roll of honour from the Cypress Regiment dated 1956, a Cuthbert H. Clark, so maybe her grandfather?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Mary_the_Virgin%27s_Church,_Cavendishhttp://www.suffolkchurches.co.uk/cavendish.htm

The Knights Templar had a preceptory here in Cavandish from 1308-1312, just before the demise of the Templars;  just before the Papal Bull was released from Rome, but they were here for only  a short period of time. The reason being is that they would have been in transit and moving artifacts along ‘upstream’ as it were, up through the country. The church would have been used as a holding place for the movement of treasures and various artifacts.

The church contains an amazingly beautiful piece of carved artwork showing the Knight Templar ‘two swords’ with an inverted challace; the pyramid, the ship, the sea, the ocean are all included.  ‘Pure Light‘ as mentioned before is represented here by the sword (fire) in the water. (Fire in the Water to make Pure Light) The ‘Jesus’ here has sadly lost a finger but would have been showing the ‘Ninasian Salute‘ (the salute of Ninasu)

There is so much Templar symbolism to be discovered in the above artwork <click to see in detail>

There is a small Lady Chapel area to the left hand side, with curtains above its altar, and interestingly, nothing at all behind them which is unusual as normally the curtains are open with a painting or something on display. A window on the right-hand side of the church contains many clues and symbolism to the fact that the knights were indeed here; non more so than the red cross of the Nevilles (our main research blood-line) with the rose in the middle of the Neville cross clearly defined. The window also shows the ‘Flower of Life‘ and moving upwards we see the ‘Lamb of God’ (Agnus Dei), all beautifully depicted, and very much of standard Knight Templar symbolism.  However on moving across to the next panel, we see imagery that is far removed from standard, in the form of what appears to be a bull with wings, amazingly depicted. We also have the cow, the ram and the stag symbolised here in the window, with interestingly a symbolic circle reference to the ‘Fisher King’, which on closer inspection could be a shell, again referencing The Fisher King. In the earlier writings of the Fisher King ‘the winged animals’ are referenced, but suprisingly, not the infamous unicorn of myth and legend as one would expect. Also adjacent on another window we can clearly see the Chi-Rho, a ‘star’ which we are now refering to as ‘The Pyramid of Intergration’, a translation from an earlier language; this symbol has had many names over the years, and is probably best known as ‘The Star of David’, which is not relevant here; also shown is the ‘IHS’ symbol. Moving down the window one can see various other symbols, such as ‘The Jesus’ showing the Ninasian Salute, and also shown with his hands ‘open to all’. At the side of the altar, behind blue curtains, just in front of the vestry, are to be found some very historic paintings, portraits and photographs upon the walls, some of the choir, some of old scenes from outside the church.

The windows contains a language of symbols relating to the Knights Templars and the true history of this earthly plane – just waiting to be de-coded! <click to enlarge>

See our link below to take a stroll around the church:

ST MARY THE VIRGIN’S CHURCH CAVENDISH

Quest 30 in May 2020 would have been another exciting European trip but due to the outbreak of the corona virus, we have had to cancel and put everything on hold for a while. Hopefull in the spring of 2021 we can get on the road again, but in the meantime,watch this space, as they say!

 

acolade

The Acolade by Lord Leighton

The Knights of the Red Order

Author ‘The Keeper of Scrolls’

April 17th 2020

 

 

QUEST TWENTY THREE: DAY FOUR: 

  • ST MARY’S THE VIRGIN CHURCH: STAINDROP

ST MARY’S THE VIRGIN CHURCH: STAINDROP This day was to prove to be our most significant to date with many pieces of the quest jigsaw puzzle falling into place. The meanings and purpose of the past, present and future were to be revealed in the here and now; but yet as always only those meant to know will have heard the whisperings…. The church was full of very significant artifacts which were very relevant to our quests and to the teachings of The Priory as a whole. The metaphysical world simply collides with the mundane world here with some very wonderful and magical occurences revealed… It is of no further suprise that there are many Templar and Masonic features prominent about the church.

 

St Mary’s Church Staindrop from the outside, showing the ‘Eastern Star’ sundial above the porch, a good indication of more to come….

 

Nestled in the valley between Bishop Auckland and Barnard Castle on the main A688, Staindrop has been described as “quite simply one of the prettiest villages in County Durham.” It stands as one of the gateways into Teesdale, with its long village greens making it a typical rural Durham village. The village is also one of great antiquity with some evidence of neolithic activity, but it gained importance in the time of King Canute when he gave his manor at Staindrop and its surrounding ‘appendages’ (hamlets and houses) to the newly founded priory at Durham Cathedral in 1031. The church itself stands at what was once the Easternmost end of the village next to the Langley Beck, just past the magnificent Raby Castle, which we had visited a couple of days previously. More on the history via these links:-

http://www.stmarysstaindrop.org.uk/Staindrop/History.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staindrop

 

Above are some general views of the interior of the church showing the beautiful architectural and artistic features within. <click on photos for a larger view>

The shield on the font is depicted showing the cresent moon and the Sinclair Cross, the shield or plaque on the wall depicts the alignment of two families (two bloodlines), the church records records a ‘Ford’ (my bloodline and lineage), the close up of the window shows the ‘merkaba’ a familiar ‘Knight Templar symbol, the kneeling pads show the Neville Symbols and the window (possibly) shows the ‘Three Mary’s’.

Let Karl show you around and take you on a tour of his own family bloodline; explaining in full all the ‘family connections’ and the ‘Templar/Masonic/Priory’ symbolism which abounds within the church.

ST MARYS CHURCH: STAINDROP

 

 

To see all the Neville Family tombs in detail, as mentioned in the video and read the historical writings please click on each image to enlarge

 

 

For me personally a most ‘magical’ discovery was seeing with my own eyes the appearance of what looked like a ‘moon’ or ‘sun’ on the church floor with clouds scurrying past; a perfect disc formed by the rays of the sun through the centre of the red rose in the window above. Directly underneath was what apeared to be the ‘all seeing eye’ but i could also see a ‘square and compass’. At a certain perfect point in time an alignment will occur… a snippet of this is in the video above.

There is so much more to this vast universe than our human existence or our human perception of it.

The ladder of knowledge is there for all to climb.

Happy in acceptance am i when i discover that what i once thought i knew was nothing more than human illusion…

Please feel free to contact us if you are curious to find out much more about our quests; on an England; on a history you thought you knew….

“the Keeper of Scrolls” August 2017

QUEST TWENTY THREE CONT:

  • ST JOHN’S SAXON CHURCH
  • ROSSLYN CHAPEL SCOTLAND
  • DUNBAR PARISH CHURCH

ST JOHN’S SAXON CHURCH: ESCOMBE NEAR BISHOP AUKLAND: Escomb is situated two miles west of Bishop Auckland in the Wear Valley. The church was built around 675AD with stone probably from the Roman Fort at Binchester and is the oldest church in the country. It was originally thought that the church was an offshoot of one of the local monastries at Whitby of Hartlepool, but this s only one of several possibilities as there are no known written records until 990AD.

The church, as one would expect is small and simple, befitting the time in which it was built. It is set amidst a well kept graveyard with some unusual gravestones in the burial ground with an ancient sundial above the porch entrance.

Once inside, one can tell the church is lovingly looked after; it has a beautiful stillness and peace about it and one can still see a few traces of the medieval painting on the archway entrance to the altar area, although some items such as the shield once prominent upon the wall has sadly not stood the test of time, as befalls many original items once prominent in many churches and some of the original paintwork about the church has also fallen prey to the ravages of time.  Thers is also a very ancient cross behind the altar depicting the ‘Fleur De Lys’ which one can barely make out do to age and earthy time… There were beautiful fresh flowers within the church and a tapistry of Celtic design crafted by local people, set in an alcove on the wall. There was a lovely feeling of peace and some very calming energies here. There was also an interesting phenomona of the greenery outside of the church displaying as a beautiful shade of blue through the church windows, which indeed it should be…

 

<click on photos to enlarge>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escomb_Church

Let Alek explain further in this short video below & show you around to explain the connections to the Neville bloodline.

ESCOMBE SAXON CHURCH

 

 The church is well looked after and well loved, which one can most certainly tell.

 

DAY THREE: ROSSLYN CHAPEL SCOTLAND: Of course everyone is very familiar with Rosslyn Chapel, (formerly known as the Collegiate Chapel of St Matthew) due to it’s inclusion in popular modern fiction and movies. I had visited the chapel previously yet was very much looking forward to visiting it again. The previous time i had visited, the chapel was hidden behind scaffolding; much renevation work was in progress, but as a bonus we did however get to walk around the actual roof of the chapel along the scaffolding itself – an experience not to be missed! So to see the chapel now in all it’s unfettered splendour was to be a treat indeed.

http://www.rosslynchapel.com/

The chapel has strong connections to the Sinclair family, who have been it’s custodians  over the years and also connections, as one would rightly expect, to the Knight Templars, in particular to the ROS and the Scottish Rite. Rosslyn Chapel was founded on a small hill above Roslin Glen as a Catholic collegiate church (with between four and six ordained canons and two boy choristers) in the mid-15th century. The chapel was founded by William Sinclair, 1st Earl of Caithness of the Scoto-Norman Sinclair family. Rosslyn Chapel is the third Sinclair place of worship at Roslin, the first being in Roslin Castle and the second (whose crumbling buttresses can still be seen today) in what is now Roslin Cemetery. The Neville connection here is that the Sinclairs and the Nevilles have ‘been in bed together’ since the dawn of time!

 

Some fine examples of the beautiful stone work of the chapel <click on an image to enlarge>

Over the years many secrets and tales of intrigue have been associated with Rosslyn Chapel; tales that connect to the Knight Templars, the FreeMasons, Secret Ceremonies and indeed even to the Holy Grail and The Ark of the Covernent; one can only wonder as to the real truths hidden below the surface…. Sadly most of the sacred objects and artifacts of importance and significance have now been removed from the chapel for safe keeping and to this end the chapel has lost it’s very sacred energy and is sadly no more than a library of codes and hidden knowledge. I was glad to have visited Rosslyn before the items where removed, especially certain items of a KT connection that i was very drawn towards and of which i noticed imnediately that they were no longer there; i was glad to have felt those energies that were still there, at that time i visited previously. Interestingly the modern day tours of the Chapel do give out a great deal of  ‘misinformation’ to the public ears, but as we know, those who are meant to know will indeed, in time know.

 

Note that ‘The Jesus’ is saluting with the Ninasian salute as used within The Priory by it’s members. The Fleur de Lys depicted here is the only one to be found on the outside of the chapel, the photo from within the chapel is a representation of the ‘Raised Degree’

Sadly we unable to take photos inside of the chapel due to an ‘incident’ that happened there, but i was able to take many fine shots of the external architecture. I was glad to have been able to take shots of the interior last time i visited. As a footnote i did sneak one photo i was drawn too, see above….. 😉

DUNBAR PARISH CHURCH:  This church is renowned as having been the first collegiate church, in 1342, to have been established in the Lothians. The church was situated on the same site as the present-day parish church, on Queen’s Road just south of Dunbar town centre. The first mention of a church at Dunbar came in 1176 in the Taxatio of Lothian when the church was described as Eclessia de Dunbar. This church, dedicated to St Bega, served the parish as a whole until 1342 and its foundation as a collegiate church. On 21 April 1342, Patrick, 9th Earl of Dunbar was granted by charter, his right to the proprietorship of the church. The Dunbars were no strangers to the patronage of religious establishments, with the foundation of a house of Trinity friars in 1218, and then amonastery of Carmelite monks in 1263, by the 6th and 7th earls respectively. Dunbar Collegiate continued as decreed until it became forfeit to the crown in 1435. For a while the church was ‘enjoyed’ by the  Duke of Albany during the reign of King James 3rd of Scotland, before returning to the Dunbars. In 1483, it, once again, reverted to the crown and stayed that way until the Protestant reformation in 1560.

Sadly the church was totally closed when we were there but we did get some stunning views across the sea as the church is placed on a very commanding position with some very unusual stones and memorials in the graveyard.

The Neville family connection here is the family memorial, but sadly we were unable to investigate further on this occasion. <click on images to enlarge>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar_Collegiate_Church

https://www.revolvy.com/topic/Dunbar%20Collegiate%20Church

http://www.wow.com/wiki/Dunbar_Collegiate_Church

Points to Consider:

  • Escombe Church, Raby Castle Chapel and St Andrew’s Church, all have a connection in respect of the Nevilles; they are all tied together.
  • The Sinclairs and the Nevilles have been connectted from time imemorial.
  • Just who really are ‘The Nevilles’, where did they come from, why are they so important and what is the purpose of their bloodline?

‘The Keeper of Scrolls’ July 2017

Please feel free to contact us if you are curious to find out much more about our quests; on an England; on a history you thought you knew….

“The Grail Kingship is within the realm of impossibilities”

DSC02317 (1)

A very profound inscription with a much deeper meaning discovered in the graveyard at Dunbar…..

 

“The mortal must put on immortality”

“Until the day break, and the shadows flee away”

 

The Keeper of Scrolls”

Aug 2017

THE PRIORY INVESTIGATES: QUEST NUMBER FOUR

  • SANTON DOWNHAM CHURCH NORFOLK:

Quest number four takes us to All Saints Church, Santon Downham and to one of the smallest churches in England. Hidden away along a beautiful riverside walk on the border of Suffolk and Norfolk and surrounded by beautiful forests lies the tiny church of Santon Downham. It is well off the beaten track yet only a few miles from Elveden and Grimes Graves; a very important ancient flint mine; hence the extensive use of flint as a building material in this area. Santon Church; which has been constructed using this local flint certainly seems to have gained somewhat of a reputation when it comes to unusual happenings. The church was declared pastorally redundant some years ago and a trust was set up to care for it in 1996 and was granted a lease by the diocese in 1998. The trust is almost entirely dependant on volunteer help and visitors gifts but one can see that this little church is very lovingly looked after and cherished.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grime’s_Graves

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santon_Downham

 The stunning walk to Santon Church,  nestling within the peaceful Norfolk countryside <click to enlarge image>

The church is sometimes mistakenly known by the locals as St Helens Church, due to the fact that there was once a nearby church of the same name. Some years ago, aside a nearby stream there was indeed another church here, situated right next to a freshwater, underground spring; an old church named St Helens; so thus the confusion has arisen over the years, but they were in fact two different churches.

Another point of interest is that in 1972 ‘Dads Army’ the beloved TV show was also filmed here, even though a very short broadcast, still never the less filmed here and one wonders why they chose this particular church; for the countryside one presumes? All very interesting

There have been many tales told and ensuing investigations into the happenings here at Santon Church, but even without the ‘ghostly goings on’  this church and area have had a very fascinating history and we are here today to either prove or disprove and to allow everyone to make up their own minds.

Ornament 13  Ornament 14 (1)

These are the two sculptures mentioned in the previous clip. They can be found on the wall of the far side of the church and are exactly the same as on Rosslyn Chapel, Scotland…

Lamb of God 4

 The stunning ‘Lamb of God’ (Agnus Dei) window high above the altar with more than just a hint of suggestion to Knight Templar connections

Haunted Pew 12   Altar 5

The ‘haunted’ pew; very much colder than the surrounding area and a close up of the altar detail, again showing Knight Templar influences

Ceiling 11

The stunningly beautiful coloured ceiling echoing the design of the Italian Chapel of the Orkeys; again depicting strong Knight Templar influences, which is very interesting for a church seeminly in the middle of nowwhere…

The Reverend Ken Doyle: The Reverend Ken Doyle would have taken his sermons from the pulpit which is just over the aisle from the ‘haunted’ pew, but what is interesting to note is that he was very much a drunkard and there are even reports of him having ‘wild sexual orgies’ in the church during the night time with alcohol, liquor and ‘loose women’ and various other people coming and going, enjoying these carnal frivolities.

But what is fascinating is that Ken Doyle was in actual fact de-clothed yet one cannot find much about this on the internet or anywhere else, but what is most interesting is that he was then re-clothed!  There was actually a lot of controversy as to the reasons why he was re-clothed. He was certainly de-clothed for being a drunkard; of being of ill-repute and being morally unacceptable, yet despite all this he had enough information to bribe certain members of the royal family; enough to take action with. So in order to hush him, he was consquently re-clothed; he had his home, his money and his funds back in order to survive! Then what happened was, he was put into this tiny parish here at Santon Downham – so yes he was re-clothed but put into a parish; a church in the middle of nowhere where he would be lucky to get any parishioners – so thus his ‘punishment’ for what he had done.

It is said that the Reverend Doyle will talk to people here; he will communicate and say different things to people whilst here. Folks often report of the the smell of intense alcohol just down from the pulpit area. The pulpit itself is very old, all original wood with a gate and very steep steps – no easy task for a drunken priest to manage – that is if he actually physically ever made it up the steps in the first place! Down in front of the pulpit is a very small section where the choir would have sat; an amazingly small church and with a very small congregation.

The Mysteries and Masonic Symbolism of Santon Church: Santon church is certainly a very small church which would have had a very small congregation and yet some big mysteries do still remain. Why is Bancroft, a tax collector buried here prominently in the main aisle; a fact that certainly makes no sense?  It is known that he was a Freemason of very high ranking and as mentioned previously there are certainly Masonic elements to the whole church which are plainly visible, such as the church’s structure and design, the Fleur de Lys, the Lamb of God and the Italian Chapel roof; all very Masonic driven, leading to shall we say, some kind of ‘cult’ aspect going on here. Even down to the ‘trinity’ symbol on the window at the back of the church, all very interesting. Many visitors to the church have suggested smelling an aroma of alcohol but on the day we visited there was a putrid smell but rather down to the dampness of the church than anything else.

Window 10   Window 9

The church windows; one of which clearly shows the ‘trinity’ symbol

In the pew which is know as the haunted pew is a plaque on the wall, again embelished with overtly Masonic symbolism as described in our next short clip. One wonders why this particular plaque was placed here and is there a connection to the lady in question, the haunted pew and the masonic symbolism?

Seal 7

The haunted pew itself has a door which, it is said, seemingly opens on its own and which does not take kindly at all to any visitors that enter there. It is also known as the Royal Pew, being at the front of the church, but in somewhat of an obscure position, right in front of a solid wall, with no view of the altar, so not really very ‘Royal’ at all; the best seats in the house being a couple of rows back where one could see the priest, the choir and the altar. We all went and sat inside the said pew and apart from sensing a big drop in temperature and a distinct feeling of it being ‘different’ from the rest of the church, we found nothing untoward to be occurring.

Our lead researcher was very aware at this point of seeing a mist, a veil as he looked out from the pew, but whether this was light reflection we are unsure, but it was mostly just around the pulpit area. Also as the link at the bottom shows, we recorded an EVP in the altar area!

Since arriving in the church the atmosphere was at first quite intense and buzzy but it did change to become very peaceful and calming, which was a good sign and although Alek did try for some time to establish communication and ask for a sign or reason and purpose for any ‘entities’ being there;  no one was forthcoming on this particular day. Never the less a very intereting day with much pause for thought…

Please follow our link for a full account of the day and an EVP recorded in the altar area

SANTON DOWNHAM CHURCH

The quaint yet perfect little church of Santon Downham, set amidst rural countryside only a few miles from the ‘lunaresque’ landscape of Grimes Graves ancient flint mines, which provided flint for the church and elsewhere.

Church 15  Forest 16

GG 18  GG 17

Conclusions and thoughts for the day: So what of this small church in the quiet untouched landscape of Santon Downham? Was it a mysterious setting for some sinister act or was it merely a church for the local people? It makes no sense at all to have a church this small and if we look at records dating back, Santon Downham had a larger population in times past; presumably it would have required a larger church than All Saints?

It is evident that this church is covered in Masonic and Knights Templar meanings and one can only make suggestions as to the reasons of such. From the ‘Lamb of God’ prominent within the church and taking a centre space, it is clear that this church hides the secrets of the past for only a few to see and truly know.

Attention should be drawn to Mary Ann Cutter, after all, she was known locally as the ‘Guardian of Secrets’, especially those of the Knights Templar whom had lands in Santon Downham in 1221. It is truly amazing to think that the Templars have taken many on a journey of ‘red herrings’, a journey with no conclusion and one can only assume that the key to success is within the simplicity of structure. That age-old phrase to state the obvious to become the non-obvious certainly springs to mind here… Therefore, if we place items in such a remote seldom-heard land, it is sure to be safe and untouched for a millennia.

Are there ghostly tales to tell of this quaint church? Yes, there is certainly activity there, even a whisper or two, but it really does depend on the purpose of your visit, your actual presence there. If you are there to mock, to find something that is not yours, then those whom protect it are surely going to react in a hostile way. However, if you are there for education, for enlightenment, then you will experience a peace and energy unknown to many.

gravestones

 Two of the more interesting gravestone at Santon Downham church; the larger is of a child named Lockwood and the smaller one behind is unamed and unmarked…

If you would like to know more; to join us on our quests or to join The Priory itself: please either email us of contact us via this page:-

moon.willow@ntlworld.com

‘The Keeper of Scrolls’

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