Originally posted by BlackGuardXIII
Perhaps european stonemasons went with their lords to police the holy land, and picked it up there and transfered it back, but not the knights.
Once they got to the Holy Land they had to lay siege to stone fortresses, which entailed digging tunnels under the corners to weaken the walls, then
when the wall collapsed they would storm the breach. The job of the tunnellers was not envied. Then, when they had captured the castle, they had to
make it back into a fortress, rebuilding the walls, turrets, etc.
So the returning Crusaders would have contained many adept stoneworkers among them.
They would have been mostly joiners I think - but good observation. The accounts given about Richard the Lionheart's butchery in the seige of Acre
include the fact that he and his men built vast seige towers.
An old thread, and I have only got half-way through it, so sorry if this is covered later - just had to commit the thought before it got away. I had
never made this connection before and I think it is very significant. Thank you for planting the seed.
The development of scissor braced roofs in 13th century Gothic architecture demonstrates a merger between the two trades and an equality in skill.
Carving and ornamentation similarly began to achieve new standards. The Templars would have had the skills required, both as engineers of war
machines and as boat builders to create these roofs. The Nave of a church was shaped like an upturned boat, hence the name and its derivative Navy.
The skills were therefore transferrable. It would also have involved a need to work closely together and share knowledge.
I have been considering the connection between the Freemasons and the Templars for just a short time but I definately think that there is some common
ascentry. It certainly seems to be the case in York.
St Marys Abbey was completed in 1257, though a ruin now, it was at the time one of the finest examples of gothic architecture in the country.
There is some indication that the same Stone Masons then went to work on the Chapter House at York Minster. The work here had some wealthy
benefactors and the Chapter House is considered to be the best work in the entire Minster. It is incredible and an incredible space to be in. I have
arranged events in the minster and always sneak away to have the place to myself. You could spend hours in there and still not take in the beauty of
The Chapter House is joined to the Minster by a vestibule accessed from the north of the Minster. This vestibule travels 3 bays north before turning
right to travel 2 bays east. Above this vestibule is the mason's lodge.
Though this is interesting for a number of reasons, in light of the realisation that the Templars would have been skilled joiners, it is the roof that
is most interesting. According to blueprints the lodge was a much later addition to the original design and was added in the early 1300s. The
scissor brace roof is of very high standard, as is the roof in the Chapter House.
I think that the Templars could have commissioned the building of the Chapter House to hold their meetings. When the order was issued to round up the
templars may be they or their supporters added the lodge to enable them to hide out. As the York Templars suffered no dire consequences as a result
of the persecutions driven by Philip of France it may not have been needed for this purpose. They would however have needed somewhere to meet if they
were to continue the observance of their traditions....
Lots of gaps there but I just thought I would share my thoughts on the topic. It is an old thread but if anyone is still interested.....