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Local FreeMason History and the Ark of the Covenant.

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posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 03:50 PM
Okay, some very local Masonic history and then I'll get onto the Ark of The Covenant Part.
Freemasonry is not my field and I'm hoping some of you can help me with this.

I was just going to make this a thread of pictures of old Masonic headstones in a graveyard literally two minutes from my house and wait until I got some pictures of the other interesting places before I posted on it, but I've been searching for more info and I'm intrigued now.
Anyway, first of all; these gravestone symbols might be pretty common, I don't know. I've seen them for years and thought some of you might find them interesting. (I just got a new digital camera)

The graveyard dates back to around the late 17th century, most are illegible or overgrown. I've got three here with clear Masonic Symbology.

This is the biggest one, a pillar. This is it in full view (no details):
Pillar full view

This a close up of Sun and Moon and some other symbol on the middle of the pillar. (the flash was on, was still figuring out how to turn it off
, but it's clear.)
Sun Moon, Other

This is the 'Eye of Horus'(?), at the top of the pillar.
Eye Of Horus

A 'G' and compass on book symbol at the start of the main pillar, can't remember the name of it:

This is the main dedication of the pillar:

This next grave is one that's always fascinated me. I had to clear a lot of derbis off it to see it. I'm not sure of the age but the graves around it were early 1800's and mid 1700's. There's no writing on it and it doesnt look as if there ever was, but there are some strange symbols including a skull. The skull reminds me of similar grave at the ruins of a nearby castle that dates from the twelfth century. All there was on the grave was a skull like this with crossbones underneath. I used to think it was a pirates grave when i was a kid.
The last time i was there it think it had pretty much faded away (it's a lot older than this grave) but I'll have another look. Anyway, it makes me think of Bush and Kerrys Skull and Bones club. A masonic connection?

EDIT: The skull's at the bottom, its in profile. It's not too clear, the front is chipped but it's easy to make out when you see it. I'll get a better picture later.

Grave 2

This is another grave with compasses forming an 'A':
Full View, Close up

Now the interesting part is that a town very near me called Kilwinning contains Lodge '0', or the 'Mother Lodge' of Scottish Freemasonry, and pretty much FreeMasonry altogether (as far as I have read). The lodge was founded within the walls of Kilwinning Abbey when it was built in 1140AD. A little history:

The history of the Mother Lodge dates back to the year 1140 at the building of the Abbey , the ruins of which lie to the rear of the Lodge . The Lodge was founded in the chapter house within the Abbey and remained there until the reformation in 1560 when the Earl of Glencairn , a blood enemy of the Earls of Eglinton who hold a long tradition with the Lodge , sacked the Abbey . Little is known of the masons at this point but they still met at various locations including the Abbey in 1598-1599 , the house in the Crossbrae in the town centre in 1643 ( the " masons howf " ) and the court house of the Earl of Eglinton . In the mid 1700,s the masons decided to build a new Lodge and in 1779 the old Lodge was built at the entrance to the Abbey . Unfortunately 100 years later due to decay and fear of the building collapsing it was demolished and a new Lodge was built 30 yards from the former site and remains there today. The present Lodge was consecrated in 1893." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">http...://

Widely held local myth states that an underground tunnel connects the Lodge and the Abbey. I knew all this until recently I got the chance to read part of the book 'The Hiram Key' at a friends house (he won't lend me it the tight git) which quoted the tunnel rumor as fact and also stated that Kilwinning Abbey was a resting place of the Ark of the Covenant before it was taken to Roslyn chapel by the Knights Templar. I knew theyd supposedly taken it to Roslyn but had never heard of the Kilwinning connection.

I wasn't going to post on this till I got some pictures of the Abbey and the Lodge (I'll get them anyway) but a look around for info has brought some strange stuff. There's this that claims the Abbey was built for the purpose of containing 'something'

Legend says that the Knights Templar deposited their treasures here, part of which is the Enoch's Pillar.
According to one of the rituals of the 33 Degrees of Royal Arch Freemasonry, the remains of Enoch's Pillar ( in three parts) was brought back to Kilwinning by the Knights Templar who had found it under the Mount of Moriah in Jerusalem. [Second Messiah, Lomas and Knight pages 282/286]
In another degree the Brethren of the Church of Jerusalem left after the fall of the Temple as a result of a revolt against the Romans in AD 70 and so headed to Europe. One group came specifically to Kilwinning to set up a new temple which would be a spiritual edifice. Here they deposited their records in an Abbey built c. 1140.
The Masonic researcher J.S. Ward was troubled by this statement found in the old rituals because of the time differences but the Masonic writers Lomas and Knight believe this can be resolved by asserting that the Knights Templar had gone on a mission to the Holy lands of the East (c.1118-1128) to recover records and ancient documents similar to that of the Copper Scroll found in the caves at Qumran near Jericho (1947).
The scrolls and documents etc. were presumed hidden under the Temple during its fall in AD 70. Once recovered by the Knights Templar the treasures were then to be deposited in the Abbey at Kilwinning.

...So it seems that the Knights Templar had found something of great importance in the Holy lands and that it was it brought to Scotland, to Kilwinning for safe keeping.

...There is an oral tradition within the Masonic community of Kilwinning which claims that Moses and Aaron were at Kilwinning.

And this, that draws geometric comparisons with local areas including 'Ardrossan "Motte" , which is where the older skull and crossbones grave I mentioned is located, to form a pyramid where the sun enters the spot on a certain day to reveal the location of the Arc. It also talks about comparisons with the Giza Pyramid.

The sites may look a little suspect, but a search for 'kilwinning abbey ark of the covenant' with no quotation marks brings up only two pages on google, and since talking with others I know this is referenced in lot of books.

I know a lot of you will probably know more about all this, and I like to hear what you know. The questions it immediately raises to me is that if Freemasonry was founded in an abbey in and at the same time the abbey was built, and the abbey was built by the Knights Templar to contain the Arc does that basically mean the purpose of Masonry is to protect the Arc of the Covenant? And is it in Kilwinning?

[edit on 7-7-2004 by kegs]

posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 05:00 PM
and I read that the Arc of the Covenant was in a monestary in Adas Abbaba, Ethiopia The Sign and the Seal: The Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant
by Graham Hancock...

The symbols you relate are masonic symbols, including the skull and crossed bones, which is from an associated order, and, as I recall, was a symbol OF the Poor Knights of the Temple of Solomon (Templars), and is associated with masonry. Not having taken any of the side degrees, I cannot speak to it intelligently, though if I had taken those degrees, it might not be something I could speak on thereafter...

There is much discussion about the veracity of The Hiram Key or whether it is simply speculation or just a good mental romp on the order of Da Vinci Code.

posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 05:11 PM

By theron dunn
skull and crossed bones, which is from an associated order, and, as I recall, was a symbol OF the Poor Knights of the Temple of Solomon (Templars), and is associated with masonry.

Does that mean the Skull and Bones grave at the castle could be the grave of a Templar Knight?

There is much discussion about the veracity of The Hiram Key or whether it is simply speculation or just a good mental romp on the order of Da Vinci Code.

Yes, I'd imagine so. I haven't had a chance to read the whole thing. It was a mere flip through the index that got me onto this, though since people I've mentioned it to have said 'oh yes, I've heard of that' (the Arc/Kilwinning abbey theory) and mention a book they have somewhere or they can't remember etc.. The small amount of info on the net is more intriguing than anything else though. I've been surfing around and I've found Freemason forums that talk about it, and Knights Templar history sites so it's not unknown, but its hard to find. More digging is needed!

posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 06:38 PM

Originally posted by kegs

Does that mean the Skull and Bones grave at the castle could be the grave of a Templar Knight?

It's possible. Scotland was one of the places that the KTs fled to when Philip Le Bel destroyed the Order.
There are many KT graves in Scotland.

posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 01:11 AM
Its unlikely that it was an original KT grave, with all the masonic symbols on it. REAL KT graves were simple affairs, with little more than an engraving of a KT sword on a plain stone... you might want to look at Temple and the Lodge by Baigent and Leigh for a more scholarly look at the KT/Masonic/Roslin connection and KT gravesites.

There is a modern body in the United States called the York Rite, which offers degrees 4-32. At some point in those degrees, a man swear to uphold an defend Christianity and is Knighted a Templar. I know little more than this, as I have not taken those degrees, but perhaps someone here can speak to this. I am sure there is something to that effect outside the US as well...

This gravestone may be a mason who was ALSO a "modern" KT. The engraving indicates that he served his lodge well, and was a member of another body as well, associated with Masonry, so...

[edit on 8/7/04 by theron dunn]

posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 04:29 AM
We were referring to the 12th century grave at the castle.

I don't entirely agree with you that KT graves were simple affairs - they vary quite considerably.
Some are plain but there are many that are effigies of the knight himself.

It would be helpful if we knew the name of the castle referred to.

posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 08:55 AM
Is a symbol of John The Baptist. That's were the original jolly roger came from. As for it being on a Mason's grave, who knows. The G stands for Geometry and the compass stands for the direction of life and the ruler stands for the 24 hour rule to lead your life by, 6 hours of sleep, 6 hours of work, 6 hours of family and 6 hours of charitable giving each and every day.

posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 08:59 AM
When the King of France and Pope Pius the X made Masonry illegal in France the Masons fled to Ireland and Scotland, that's how the protestants ended up in Ireland which caused the whole problem there. A distant grandfather of mine, John De LaFontaine, fled from France to Ireland during that period and then on to the US later on. The King of England and the English Royal family were Masons, still are, so they gave refuge to the Masons who fled France. The reason that the Pope and the King of France made Masonry illegal was because they couldn't pay off their debts to the Knights Templar, Knights Hospitaler, Knights of Malta, etc. Their debts were for the fighting in the Crusades.

posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 09:58 AM
OK I feel compelled to reply to this.

First of all, the gravestones are indeed Masonic. Secondly, the origin of the skull with the cross bones beneath is lost to time. However, it was known as the battle flag of the Templar fleet based on La Rochelle, France. It is though to be the origin of the idea that the Templars became pirates and thus the flag became known as the Jolly Roger.

However there is another association. When a crusader fell in the holy land, they were generally buried as soon as possible. The climate of the Levant being what it is, the body quickly desiccated. The tradition was to disinter the remains and to remove the body, separating the skull and the femurs to be sent to the crusader's homeland. These were then buried under a simple flag stone that was inscribed with the skull and cross bones signifying a fallen crusader. This was later adopted by the Templars so from about the late 12th century onward this denoted almost exclusively a fallen Templar.

As was rightly observed earlier in the thread, later Templar gravestones were simply inscribed with the outline of a cruciform sword.

However, it is to GrndLkNatv I must address some comments. First of all, Freemasonry was present in Ireland from at least the early sixteenth century, as denoted by the brass square inscribed with a Masonic motto, found in the base of Baal's Bridge. It was dated 1507 and is known to have been built in the reign of Henry VIII and extensively reworked in the time of Mary.

Freemasonry was not imported to Ireland from France; it came direct from Scotland through, it being known as the "Fifth Province" of Ireland.

The reason that Protestants ended up in Ireland is not so simple as they being chased out of other countries. Remember Ireland was under the English crown when Henry, who till then was known as Defensor Fidei could not get away with murdering another wife, change to Protestantism on a whim. There followed a major shift in Ireland as there had in England. Many powerful old families, many of Norman descent would not yield and kept their faith. Henry began an extensive programme of Surrender and Regrant to anyone who would turn. When this failed to root out the old faith, and fomented rebellion, the period known as the Plantation resulted after the defeat of Hugh, the Great O'Neill, last Prince of Ireland at Kinsale in 1603. The great O'Neill, along with the O'Donnell fled in what was known as the Flight of the Earls. Ulster, which till then was the ;at bastion of true Irish identity, was planted with protestant farmers, with the locals being wiped out, much in the same brutal way that the American West was won at with a holocaust visited upon the Native Americans. Scots Presbyterians, English Planters and refugee French Huguenots were all imported into Ireland under Elizabeth, who it was said, fancied Hugh O'Neill, the Wild Prince. That is how Protestants came to be in Ireland.

Finally, what is little know is that fact that the Sister Constitutions of Ireland, England, and Scotland had certain exceptions from the papal bull outlawing freemasonry, as the sister constitutions were never seen as seditious as they were in France and Germany. In fact it is only late in the twentieth century that the Sisters recognised their continental counterparts.
As regards the Templars themselves, there are tenuous links with modern Freemasonry but they are that, tenuous. While there are high degrees of Masonry that refer to the Templars, these are figurative. I speak as a Freemason of the Constitution of Ireland and having done some research on the subject.


posted on Jul, 9 2004 @ 01:12 PM
Thanks for the info folks. I know the symbols from the graves are masonic, just thought some might find them interesting.

Leveller, the castle is just called Ardrossan Castle. Bit of info and a pic here

I went up there today and got some pics of the grave, the remains of another and one I'm not sure of.

This is a full pic of the skull and crossbones grave, it has faded a lot with time but you can still make it out.
Full Pic

This is close up of the skull and crossbones.
Close up

This is close up of the symbol thing at the top, I don't know if its a symbol or indeed actually anything. I can't make it out as anything but I'll include it anyway.
Close up

I found this grave nearby, it's only got the bottom half remaining but you can see what looks like another set of crossbones.
Full Pic
Close up

This another half remains of a grave, I'm not sure about this one. It looks like a skull with crossbones behind it, but I'm not sure.
Full pic
Close up

posted on Jul, 9 2004 @ 02:24 PM
They probably are Templar graves.

This site might be of interest to you:

posted on Jul, 9 2004 @ 02:29 PM
Shh. No one was to know about this.

Post your address so we can contact you.

posted on Jul, 9 2004 @ 02:45 PM

Originally posted by 2012
Shh. No one was to know about this.
Post your address so we can contact you.

Heh. One of the downsides of being an American is that you are short of ancient heritage sites such as these. In fact, they're pretty common in the UK.
It's hard not to notice such things when our country is literally covered with history like this.

Probably the greatest Templar site in the UK is The Temple in London.

[edit on 9-7-2004 by Leveller]

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 09:28 AM
Thanks for the links. I think the rectangular symbol at the top of the full skull and crossbones grave must have been the symbol with the cross beside the skull in this pic from the site you posted.

Interesting stuff. I'm going to see what else I can find out around here. A trip to the abbey i think!

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