A Knights Templar cave believed to be about 700-years-old might have been found down a rabbit hole beneath a farm in the United Kingdom. The intricate cave tunnels appear to many folks to resemble something straight out of an Indiana Jones movie.
The Caynton Caves group snapped some incredible photos and videos of the Knights Templar cave that quickly went viral. The Sun reports the Knights Templar cave was hidden under a field in the Shropshire area.
"I traipsed over a field to find it, but if you didn't know it was there you would just walk right past it," said Michael Scott, a photographer who toured the cave, which remained concealed from view for centuries.
The owners of the property had closed up the entrance to the cave in 2012 after individuals engaging in "black magic" ceremonies kept sneaking inside to perform their rituals.
Sometimes when a situation devolves down a rabbit hole, you discover a 700-year-old Knight's lair https://t.co/jEQ400b1S6
— Sean Maday (@seanmaday) March 9, 2017
Once he made his way inside the Knights Templar cave, Scott quickly encountered a series of carved niches, walkways, and sturdy stone arches, MSN notes. The ceiling of the cave was not very tall. As the photographer noted, anyone who is close to six feet tall would have to bend down to maneuver around the underground cavern.
"I had to crouch down and once I was in it was completely silent. There were a few spiders in there but that was it," Michael Scott added.
The Knights Templar group was a Catholic military order that played a significant role in the Crusades. The order was named after Jerusalem's Temple Mount, which served as their base of operations. The sect was founded in 1119 in an effort to protect pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land.
The Knights Templar sect is considered to have been founders of the world's first bank and the forerunners of our modern banking system. When a man joined the order, he had to agree to give up all his wealth and land holdings to the group, History Answers reports. The immense wealth garnered through this practice almost immediately made the order enormously rich and made the creation of a bank feasible.The Knights Templar order provided funding for building projects in not only the Holy Land but across the entire continent of Europe, and the majority of these buildings are still standing today. The Temple Church in London is one of the most famous building projects made possible by the Knights Templar, and it is still standing. The church was used for initiation ceremonies by the order. The Convent of Christ Castle in Portugal, also used as a stronghold for the order, remains standing as well.
During its peak, the Knights Templar boasted about 20,000 members. The leader of the order was known as the "grand master." He had a deputy who was referred to as the "seneschal." A marshal was the order officer in charge of all the individual commanders and the equipment needed by their military units, which were comprised of sergeants and knights.
Fascinating! A look at the 700 year-old secret underground hideout for the Knight's Templar. https://t.co/JPdzlhmMxx
— Troika (@TroikaToday) March 8, 2017
When control of the Holy Land was lost, the military influence of the Knights Templar diminished. Even though their fighting forces had waned, the order still boasted intense financial power. French King Philip IV wanted to wipe out his debts after the years of holy war. In 1307, the king hatched a plot to take the Knights Templar order down to achieve his goal. Many of the members were arrested on charges of heresy, with dozens of them being burned alive at the stake.
In 1312, Pope Clement V officially disbanded the Knights Templar. Some of the order members were said to have escaped the witch hunt for them throughout Europe by kings fearful of their remaining power and extreme wealth. The fleeing order members may have taken with them a great treasure and precious religious relics they carefully hid away, never to be found. Treasure hunters have long searched for the bounty, many believing it could be buried on Oak Island. Some of the Knights Templar members are believed to have formed other "secret societies," including the Masons.The Knights Templar of the Temple of Solomon was founded by Godeffroi de St. Omer and Hugues de Payns of Burgundy. The seal of the Knights Templar was two knights on a horse. The image was a symbol of the poverty of the order's earliest members. Legend has it that the first grand master had to share a horse with one of the order's founders.
The white mantle was worn by the Knights Templar order to signify the vow of chastity taken by members. While married men were permitted to join the group, they had to receive their wife's permission first and were banned from wearing the white mantle.
[Featured Image by Natalya Rozhkova/Shutterstock]