An ancient sword that was found in the Caynton Caves in Shropshire, England, several decades ago has been identified as belonging to the Knights Templar. Mark Lawton discovered the rusty sword in the man-made caves located close to Beckbury in the late 1980s and it’s been sitting on his windowsill ever since.
Only recently did he decide to have the sword evaluated by local auctioneers who identified it as a precious 13th century weapon that belonged to a member of the Knights Templar. In fact, before Lawton’s sword was studied, there was very little evidence connecting the Knights Templar to the Caynton Caves.
There are two theories in regards to the history of Shropshire’s Caynton Caves. Some historians believe that the Knights Templar carved out the caves so that they could use them as a hiding place from King Philip IV of France who tried to destroy the group as well as tortured and killed many of the members. The other theory is that the Legge family carved out the caves in the 18th or 19th century to use for quarrying purposes.
Unfortunately, in more recent times, the caves have been used for satanic ceremonies, as well as being littered and having graffiti all over the place. The owners had no choice but to set up a camera and seal the entrance so no more damage could be done.
As for the Knights Templar, they were a secretive Catholic military order that was founded in 1119 until 1312 when Pope Clement V disbanded them. They were also known as very skilled fighters during the Crusades. As for their clothes, they wore white mantles with a red cross.
Their initiation ceremonies happened inside of domed churches which looked similar to Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulchre. For that reason, it would make sense that they used the Caynton Caves since they too had circular naves, pillars, Romanesque-style arches, and small openings to put candles.
Caroline Dennard, who is a militaria specialist at Halls Fine Art in Shrewsbury, confirmed that the sword was from the 13th century and mostly likely belonged to a Knight. “In populated areas, knights were the only people authorized by the king to carry weapons so it is a probable assumption that this was owned and carried by a Knight – and perhaps, given the discovery in Caynton Caves in Shifnal, even a Templar.” To add even more authenticity to it belonging to a Knights Templar, the sword had a straight cross guard which was perpendicular to the blade which created a cross – just like the cross on their clothing.
You can see pictures of the sword here as well as photographs of the cave where it was found.