Crusades, Norman warriors & Betrayal

Templar’s Church received its name from the Knights Templar, a brotherhood of monastic Norman warriors who originated during the crusades. After the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169, large areas of land around the Hook Peninsula were given to the order by King Henry II and Templetown was used as their headquarters. Following the collapse of Christian control of the Holy Land in the 1290s, the Templars received a good deal of the blame for this. They were also resented for their wealth, power, and arrogance. King Philip of France, who had an eye on their possessions, had members arrested on charges of heresy, idolatry, and various sexual vices. Many members confessed these charges under torture and it’s head member, Jacques du Molay, was burned at the stake in 1314. In Ireland, arrested Templars were imprisoned in Dublin Castle and tried in St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1310, and while there was no torture, the order was dissolved here as in Europe, and its possessions were transferred to the Hospitallers. The church itself has an unusual castellated tower which was probably built at a later stage for protection from warring Gaelic clans.