|| The picture
on the left represents the Seal of the Knights Templars: the image of the two
knights on a single horse is a symbol of the early poverty associated
with the order. On the right is one of the many reported flags of the Order of the Knights Templar.
The Templars were organised as a monastic order which was officially endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church around 1129. Templar Knights, in their distinctive white mantles with a red cross, were among the most skilled fighting units involved in the Crusades.
Under pressure from King Phillip IV of France, Pope Clement V disbanded the order of the Knights Templars in 1312.
The following details, about the time when the KnightsTemplars occupied Saddlescombe, are drawn from Maude Robinson's book.
"About the year 1225 a local magnate piously made a grant of the Manor to the powerful Soldier Monks, the Knights Templars."
In the reign of Edward II the reputation of the Knights Templars was so bad, the Pope dissolved the order, and the Knights were banished from Saddlescombe.
While the Knights still occupied Saddlescombe their inventory of possessions included
No remnants of any of these buildings remains; unfortunately the native flint and chalk that were used to build them does not stand up well to the weathering of ages.
- 163 acres of arable land under cultivation
- a wind mill
- 2 barns
- an ox shed
- a stable
- a garden
- 1 horse
- 12 oxen for ploughing
- 600 sheep enclosed by "40 hurdles and 6 wattles" type of fencing
- 1 chapel
But something does exist on the farm today which harks back to the activities of the "Soldier Monks"" when they occupied Saddlescombe: namely the Donkey Wheel.
The 150 foot well that the Donkey Wheel was fashioned to draw water from - with the help of a donkey, pony or man - was originally dug by the Knights Templars in the thirteenth century.
Quite an achievement when you consider the stubborn flint and chalk terrain the knights would have had to have dug through!