ASHLEY'S TEMPLAR PROJECTS IN THE MEDIA
By Ashley Cowie, 2009.
Over the past 21 years I have been involved with several modern Knight Templar orders.
In 2002 I was Editor of the Scottish Knight Templar monthly newsletter and in 2005 I became a Knight Officer, the youngest in the orders history, and I managed a research division in northern Scotland. In 2006 I was a founder member of The Order of Jaques de Molay 1314, a greatly research based organisation operating across Scotland. I conducted group visits to historic sites and delivered lectures about Knight Templar architecture and the non-Da Vinci Code version of what their symbols, motifs and flags actually represented.
I have to be honest though. It was right at the time everyone on the Templar research scene thought they were but a page turn away from locating the legendary Templar Treasure hidden somewhere in northern Scotland, Caithness in particular.
As I lived in Caithness when the trout fishing season closed our team of researchers conducted some highly organised, well funded treasure hunting missions with various historical organisations, clan societies and private artefact collectors. In 2008 I followed a series of clues in local history books which led me to discover a hidden tunnel running beneath the Castle of May. We were 100% convinced the lost Templar Treasure was in that tunnel. The castle was built by the Grandson of William St Clair, the builder of Rosslyn Chapel, on the north coast of Scotland where legends say the treasure was hidden.
It was a dark day when we found newspaper cuttings from 1947 telling the story of a military vehicle putting anti-tank defences along the coastline and had fallen through the bottom of the castle gardens into the tunnel. At that time, the military dug out the tunnel and refilled it. But we got over it, and if anything the whole affair stood testimony to my abilities to find hidden tunnels.
Lost treasure and pop-cultrual mysteries aside, the Scottish Knights Templar were all about protecting the Templar's heritage and buildings in Scotland.
We were a bunch of guys with similar interests and had good times, and as a side, I got access to some pretty special places, for example, in 2007 I became the last photographer permitted to conduct a shoot inside Rosslyn Chapel. Leading me perfectly onto Temple Church in London.
Temple Church LONDON EXPOSED
Temple Church in London is arguably the most important 12th century church in England. Its history ranges from the Crusaders in the 12th century, through the turmoil of the Reformation and the founding father of Anglican theology. Originally built by the Knights Templar, the order of warrior monks founded to protect pilgrims on their way to and from Jerusalem in the 12th century, the church is built in two parts: the Round and the Chancel. The Round Church was consecrated in 1185 by the patriarch of Jerusalem and it was designed to replicate the holiest place in the Crusaders’ world: the circular Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
This photography project highlights architectural features, religious iconography and symbolic tile work. We find Christian mythology, theology and sacred geometry blended with winged horses, skulls, grotesque faces, battle-ready mounted knights, saints and angels, apostles and dragons depicting stories of chivalry, bravery, sacrifice, faith and honour.