Knight-Errant

Having not posted in a long time, I feel that I should clarify my reasons for such silence. Spending time between home and university, a schedule that always seems to be brimming over with engagements that saturate though my education dictates with an iron fist. As such, in between I have been researching the history of my local area.

*YAWN* …A history lesson Eve? How droll.

Yes. Yes it is. And I love it. I should really begin with setting the scene. My father and I have always been interested in the Knights Templar, the Priory of Sion and other such pieces of arcane history. Not that we entertain silly notions of far fetched conspiracy theories, just that we enjoy indulging ourselves in research of that time period. With the recondity of the era comes a certain addiction to unfolding the rest of the story.

Danbury Church

Danbury Church

And so, whilst on my little historical pilgrimage, I inadvertently stumbled all the way back home. I wasn’t drunk on the fumes of vanillin textbook pages; no. I had found my way back to Danbury from all the way eastwards in the holy land. I have lived in my little hill top village in Essex for over ten years (not to be confused with Danebury Hill Fort in Hampshire – *has first year flashbacks of barbarian societies lectures and Cunliffe monologues* though it did used to be a neolithic site) and am very proud of our quaint English hamlet with our duck pond, bowls club, and single tearoom. A large chunk of local history rests in between the pews of our church. Growing up, though, I dropped my religion and visits to church became few and far between, eventually culminating in a walk through the graveyard to pick raspberries at our allotment every now and again.

Which is why all history of the area was swept under the rug, back into some small alcove of my mind, and along with it the information of a pickled knight (yes, PICKLED: in mushroom catchup to be precise) that yielded results of the St. Clere family residing in this area, already well known for it’s Templar activities. In particular interest to me was a book by Andrew Collins, which was out of print. I couldn’t find a copy of this flimsy pamphlet on-line for anything less than an extortionate price. After receiving a call from a local library to inform me they had found two crusty dog-eared copies at the back of a shelf, and encountered a refusal of sale or even borrowing by the library clerk; I inadvertently bumped into a lady and fell into conversation. By sheer luck and happen-stance she turned out to be a Templar seeker, same as I.

A Danbury Knight wooden effigy largely unnoticed by parishioners on a daily basis

A Danbury Knight wooden effigy largely unnoticed by parishioners on a daily basis

Having swapped numbers I was delighted to meet with her, upon which occasion she allowed me to borrow a signed copy of the book with notes from the author, as he was a ‘great friend’. Hopefully soon I will be able to converse with him concerning secrets of Danbury Church where said mysterious Knights were buried; and learn more about this amazing and little known village, quietly sitting on top of a hill, surveying the rest of Essex (and sometimes Kent on a clear day). Secretive and silent, now docile and a tad taciturn; Danbury is the perfect blip of bygone times that has eluded many a 20th century scholar so far, but I am hoping that Danbury Church’s previously impenetrable walls of stone impart some information previously veiled to other voyeuristic pilgrims.

Knights Templar land as it looks today - Cressing Temple Barns famous for storing barley and wheat to finance Templar crusades in the holy land

Knights Templar land as it looks today – Cressing Temple Barns famous for storing barley and wheat to finance Templar crusades in the holy land

From this I have learned how important it is to really understand the history of the place you live in. Walking around Danbury now, it has a different feel in the air, suddenly the ground I’m walking on when on the Village Green fizzes with excitable energy now that I know it’s secrets. It’s true then, that knowledge is power; and I’m loving every minute. I highly recommend it. Whether history is occult or not makes no difference if you appreciate it properly.

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