Drawing by Joseph Beldam, c.1852
The Royston Cave, Used by Saints or Sinners?, Sylvia Beamon
The Medieval Structure Within Royston Cave, Peter Houldcroft
A History of Royston, Hertfordshire,
The Origins and Use of Royston Cave,
Origines Roystonianæ, Wiliam Stukeley
WHO WERE THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR?
The Knights Templar were a religious and military order of monks, formed in c. 1119 to protect pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land. They were prominent in farming, accepted valuables for safe transit and fought in the Crusades. They became an influential order acquiring vast wealth and land across Europe.
By the end of the 13th century, support for the Knights Templar had dwindled. In 1307, they were declared heretics by Pope Clement V and King Phillip IV of France who, deeply in debt to the Templars, sought to lay claim to their wealth.
Persecution and imprisonment of the Templars followed swiftly throughout Europe, and many fled or went underground.