The Temple Church
The Headquarters of the Knights Templar
The Temple Church
The Church of the Knights Templar in London.
The Knights Templar built the Church, the order of crusading monks founded to protect pilgrims on their way to and from Jerusalem in the 12th Century. Unlike any other church in London, the design recalled the holiest place in the Crusaders' world: the circular Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
Today the 15th-century Inns of Court surround this 12th-century place of worship. The area has layers and layers of history, leafy courtyards and cosy historical pubs. The atmosphere makes this pedestrianised neighbourhood perfect for a private walking tour.
Filmmakers love the Inns of Court that circumnavigate the Temple church. Free from ugly 21st-century street furniture and signs. The Da Vinci Code, Sherlock Holmes, and various Charles Dickens TV dramas have been shot here.
Last resting place of the Greatest Knight
The Knights Templar in London
Gated community of warriors
The Church was at the centre of a substantial complex of buildings - including cloisters, chapels, halls, mills, a brewhouse and a granary grew up around Temple Church. Walls and gates landing stages from the Thames. Think of it as a gated community of warrior knights - another way of looking at it as the HQ of a band of medieval superheroes.
These highly trained soldiers protected pilgrims while making the most dangerous journeys of their lives. Financial gratitude made the organisation wealthy and powerful. King of Jerusalem was so impressed by their bravery; he gave them a base at the Temple of Solomon.
The Holy Land lost
The failure of the religious order to maintain a foothold in the Holy Land rendered them obsolete. They became a target of persecution mainly from King Philip of France (1268-1314) and accused of blasphemy. The King's motive was that he owed the Knights substantial funds and was unable to make payments, he was bankrupt. The knights disbanded.
The greatest knight
The Greatest of all Knights Templar must be William Marshal. William served four volatile English monarchs, managed difficult political situations, was a signatory and creator of the Magna Carta and fought and won numerous battles.
His story is an epic involving travelling to Jerusalem, fighting when aged 70 and defeating 500 plus knights in tournaments. Most of the evidence suggests that William Marshal was an honourable warrior and understood Magna Carta's value, the document limiting the monarch's power. While William was regent and protector of the boy King Henry III, he made sure Magna Carta was re-issued seeing its value in curbing the authority of unaccountable Kings.
The grave of William Marshal remains in the round part of the Temple Church. There is also a display telling the story and meaning of the Magna Carta.
The American Declaration of Independence
Links with the Temple Church and the United States are strong. Temple lawyers draw up the declaration of Independence sighting a clause in Magna Carta. Without representation in parliament, the taxation applied to the Englishman in America was viewed as unlawful.
The Temple Church has superb acoustics; we will try to time your visit to include a concert.
Touring and accommodation
The best places to stay in London are Mayfair, St James, and the Royal Borough of Kensington. If you are considering day tours from London, staying further west in Kensington makes sense. Harrods and Hyde Park are close. Staying in Mayfair and St James will give you easy access to Green Park, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and high-end shops. The theatre district called the ‘West End’ is a short hop too. Here is our recommended collection of the Best Four and Five-Star Hotel in London.
Our Tour Designers are here to customise your private tours of London and day tours from London. Tell us about you and your interests, and we will create a tailor-made tour. Our Walking Tour of Old London, includes The Temple Church.
If this is your first time to England, we would recommend a custom version of your Town and Country Tour; it covers the famous places and allows you to utilise your private driver-guide by getting-off-the-beaten-path. Our Classic tour of Ireland is a good place to start for the first trip to Ireland, and we suggest the Classic tour of Scotland for your first trip to the bonny Highlands. Merging Wales with England makes for a dynamic experience of mountains, stately homes and cosy country pubs.
Help us make your trip exceptional
Our UK, EU and US office-based staff will listen to what you want to see and experience.
Whether you are a honeymoon couple, a family or a corporate incentive group, our team’s collective resources will be brought together to build the experience that’s right for you.
We will require your arrival and departure dates, details of your personal preferences and places that you would like to visit as well as the events you would like to experience.
We will then prepare a draft itinerary and send it to you by email for your approval. Once agreed, we will send you a Booking Confirmation with Personalised Itinerary and Information Pack via email.