The beautiful Temple Manor was built around 1240 by the Knights Templar. It was designed to provide suitable lodging for people of high rank or position, travelling between Dover and London every day. However, as the years went by and the Manor changed hands, its function became more and more diverse.
Unfortunately, the Manor eventually fell into disuse, and sadly, disrepair. On the bright side, once World War Two ended, the site was restored by the Ministry of Works. Hopefully, this beautiful Temple Manor will forever stand as a reminder of the important military and religious order of the Knights Templar.
The Exterior of Temple Manor: Lovely isn’t it? Such a shame its hidden away in the depths of an industrial estate!
My interest in this site began a couple of months back during a trip to Dover Castle where I met Russell Palmer; a re-enactor specialising in ‘Hospitaller St John’ and ‘Templar Knights’ of the 12th and 13th Century. He told me about a special weekend long event at Templar Manor, and so I decided to go – and I took my parents along for the ride!
We followed, as you do, the signs to Temple Manor but wound up in the middle of an industrial estate. Very confusing. Perseverance paid off, and in reaching Temple Manor, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The beautiful manor is literally situated in the middle of a fenced off area inside the industrial estate. How peculiar!
On arrival, we met up with Russell, who explained to us how Strood and Temple Manor played a big part in the history of the Templar Knights. The story goes that the Templar Knights owned a great number of manors and houses all across Europe, and many in the Middle East. The manors, houses and lands that the Templar Knights owned were actually granted to them by Kings, Queens and noble families. Why, I hear you say? So that the Kings would remain in favour with Templar’s (and trust me, you wouldn’t want to cross them).
A real hidden gem in Knight Road, Strood. A rare surviving 13th century house belonging to the Knights Templar. It is also free entry! Bonus.
The land that surrounds Temple Manor was donated as a gift from Henry II to the Templar Knights. By 1285, Temple Manor was in full operation, and was so successful it was earning more money than Temple Ewell and Temple Waltham; also owned by the Templar’s.
I would highly recommend a visit to Temple Manor; whilst there may not be much there, the stories you hear make it a totally enjoyable day out! It’s almost like you are stepping into the Knights shoes and what it would have been like to be there 825 years ago. The walls and the beams within the Manor bring the history to life!
Interior View: With beams this low it’s a good job those Knights weren’t tall fellows!
I hope by me writing this review article on this beautiful historical Manor, it will encourage more young people to visit these little hidden gems of British History. I truly hope they forever remain standing for generations to come and that the British people will continue to show their support for the conservation of our beloved heritage.
Historical Honey 2013 ©