The Templars’ Head & Templecombe Panel Painting

by Dan Green

This article is a repost from my former website, Looking into the Dark Places.




Having pursued the possibility of being on the trail of the lost treasure of the Templars – whatever that find may constitute – meant that sooner or later I would have to take my own closer look and perspective at the Order. So much has been written about the KT – as much theory as established and recorded fact – that it would be difficult to come up with something totally refreshing , but I have enjoyed investigating their Lincoln connexions.

It’s only very recent that I remembered how I stood in the ruins of the churchyard at Coustaussa way back in 1986 and in a private moment of reflection at this, my first stop off point in my only visit to nearby Rennes-le-Chateau, asking aloud if the spirits of the Templars both past and present would assist me in my Quest. My memory had totally misplaced that solemnity having happened, and looking back now, I wonder if they did. The year previous, sacred geometrist and RLC author David Wood had shown me his discovery in the valley – the Temple of Solomon etched out on the ground, and strongly resembling, to my mind, a giant camera! No surprise we are dealing with Light, then!

Back in England, Lincolnshire is one of the most important Templar Counties due to the Bishop of Lincoln’s power extending over most of England at the time, for nearly 500 years the Seat of the Holy See was held at the Bishop’s Palace (only a few hundred yards away from my ‘Lincoln Da Vinci Code’ final location) from the Humber to the Thames. The Patron Saint of Lincoln Cathedral, St Hugh, had bought the original Temple in London from the Templars, who then went on to build the second one which stands today. (It’s believed Hugh died in the original, of which nothing now remains). It is well within the bounds of possibility the the Templars hid treasures in Lincolnshire because its largest and most efficient Orders were concentrated in different parts of the County, having built preceptories at Temple Bruer and Willoughton near Gainsborough, South Witham and Aslackby, near Sleaford, Bruer being one of the only Templar sites never to have been properly excavated as it was waterlogged at the time raids were made on most Templar properties. Although not full preceptories, other Templar related buildings can be found at Eagle and Mere, near Lincoln, and the Angel Inn was built by them at Grantham. The Templars owned investment property throughout Lincolnshire and in Lincoln, the Jew’s House, leased to Aaron the Jew in 1158.

During their persecution, Templars were imprisoned in Lincoln Castle where even today you can see their graffiti on stone walls, including a scene of the crucifixion, and according to Lionel Fanthorpe commenting on the LDVC, “With their architectural knowledge they may even have helped to build the Cathedral and plant these clues.” In 2006, after 800 years absence, the Templars met up for the first time in Lincolnshire at Ashby Hall near Sleaford thereby puzzling many by breaking tradition as their earlier historical meetings had always been in the Cathedral. Why not this time? Had my LDVC announcements drawn too much attention to the sacred geometry of this majestic stone replica of the womb?

Etched triangle on west face of Temple Bruer - comparable with RLC parchment

Etched triangle on west face of Temple Bruer – comparable with RLC parchment

My Templar peregrinations had taken off all within the year 2006-7 during in which time I had visited Temple Bruer (where an excavation in 1833 had provoked tales of an underground vaults being found, another in 1907 failing to find them, instead discovering two flights of stairs leading down to an underground crypt that is still there today), a church of St. Helens, South Scarle, a church at Eagle, and, inspired by Juliet Faith’s ‘Temple Booklet’ article, the church of St James, Cameley and of St Mary’s, Templecombe. Bruer had interested me as I had made a most interesting find – on the West face of the preceptory wall, presumably caused by a structure no longer standing, we find a huge etched triangle with extended legs and which encloses a window. This Piscean fish shape can also be found the RLC Parchment 1, as a device at the very top, or start, of the ‘Shepherdess, no Temptation’ coded work – even within it is a small window in the same fashion as the Bruer triangle encompasses on e! Surely indicating at a connexion with RLC and Bruer, if we invert the design, it points – in relation to the text – at its South-Eastern corner, the very area where our LDVC clues congregate at the Cathedral. The window in the middle of the design refers to the Great East Window of the Cathedral where we find the strange ‘dog on the platter’ at the scene of ‘The Last Supper’, our starting point for discovering numerous dog and therefore dog-star Sirius clues within Lincoln Cathedral. In Masonic terms, the design is of a ‘dog in a manager’, this expression meaning ‘someone who has something of value they cannot or will not use for themselves but which they won’t let anybody else have either’ – the ‘treasure’ of the Templars! Did this treasure stay temporarily at the Bruer crypt before moving the few miles to the Cathedral corner? It is accepted that freemasonry originated from a Templar legacy, and it is equally well known that these freemasons have as their most cherished lodge symbol, the blazing star that is Sirius.

Knight and dog slab, Scarle church

Knight and dog slab, Scarle church

The church at St Helens (or St. Helena, to give its proper title) was built in the 13th C but could be even earlier. The church was enlarged perhaps due to its connection with the neighbouring preceptory of the Templars at Eagle, the KT holding the Manor of Eagle by gift of King Stephen. Interestingly enough for me, there is a knight in armour, with dog, dated 1510. The Templars of Eagle are thought to have visited the church a number of times, although it didn’t belong to them. The ‘carved pew’ of the knight of Eagle Hall was on the North side of the chancel, occupied until it was removed in 1871 by the Tenants of Eagle Hall. Whereas most visitors to St Helens will not miss the stone slab knight, will they discover the 22 or so strange letter etchings, scratched almost deliberately high up a pillar? Who is responsible for this most difficult to spot handiwork, and when it was etched it is impossible to know. Is it telling us something? I next visited the Archway at Eagle, Lincoln. The Templars had a hospital there

Strange letter etchings - St Helen's church

Strange letter etchings – St Helen’s church

(one of two in the UK) and other buildings. After the Order was suppressed, it was given to the Hospitallers (they had properties there themselves) and they rebuilt the old All Saints church there that the archway leads to. This magnificent archway has a Templar on the left, a Hospitaller on the right, and a Maltese cross presiding at the top. People mistook Hospitallers for Templars due to them having a similar cross on their mantles apart from it being white on black for the knights and white on red for the others Temple sergeants had red crosses on black or brown habits, hence the confusion, and owing to

Temple Arch at Eagle

Temple Arch at Eagle

Rule 141 from ‘The Rule of the Templars’: ’The surcoats of the sergeant brothers should be completely black with a red cross on the front and back,and they may have either black or brown mantles, and they may have everything that the knight brothers have except the horses’ equipment, the tent and the cauldron which they will not have, and they may have a sleeveless coat of mail, hose without feet, and a chapeau de fer, and all these aforementioned things they may have according to the means of the house.’ This explains their later connection to John the Baptist even though it was the Hospitallers who had the Baptist as their Patron Saint.

ufoattemplebruer146x190I can’t leave Bruer behind without mentioning the appearance of a strange anomalous aerial object to the right of the tower deciding to include itself on some photos – in a clear blue sky – taken during my visit. The Templars we are told were well versed in the ancient esoteric and alchemy, something that today often translates in to the puzzling world of what we call ‘unidentified flying objects’.

Well, although I am not advocating spaceships piloted by aliens, I do find this object a worthy inclusion, as it – or others similar to it – have popped up on my questing upon Glastonbury Tor, (twice) and above Lincoln Cathedral all on different days! Maybe all are situated on Earth energy /ley lines, providing strange, natural geophysical phenomenon? Or do they follow me about?!

Next, I left Lincoln behind to visit Templecloud and the St James church at Cameley with its odd wooden head – a mould perhaps? – and finally onto Templecombe where I have no doubt that the wood panel is a Templar artefact, one of a series that gives rise to the ‘Baphomet’ head worshipping allegations, the one charge against the Order that may have had some substance. More, however, on this panel, shortly, as we now return to the subject of heads.

St Mary's church, Templecombe.

St Mary’s church, Templecombe.

There have been numerous accounts and associations involving various heads allegedly kept by the Templars, many different shapes, styles, figures etc, so much so that one wonders why there can’t be just the one definitive account. John de Dorrington’s account, during the trial in England, asserted that the Order possessed four principal idols, one of which was kept at Temple Bruer. On the basis that there is no smoke without fire, I am going to suggest that there was something to all these Templar affiliations with heads – maybe a singular one or maybe many – and my suggestion may not be as unlikely as one would like to first imagine. We must remember that in dealing with Templarism alchemy appears to be a complicity, as was their involvement with those of a magical penchant – and we must remember there are two types of ‘magic’, one involving the art of producing marvellous results by using the secret forces of nature, the other the art of the stage magician who produces illusions by legerdemain. I am going to suggest that the Templars did own a head, but that it was an automaton, a self operating machine that were even in evidence as far back as Ancient Greece in one form or another. It is quite possible that they did, as the chronology of these heads accommodates our requirements. A brazen head, or Brass or Bronze, are recorded in history as being a prophetic device attributed to many medieval scholars believed to be wizards. Always in the form of a man’s head they could correctly answer any question answered of it, answering freely, variations restricted to a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Those who are thought to have owned such a device are as follows: Pope Sylvester II (950-1003AD) was a prolific scholar of the tenth century, a scientist ahead of his time who introduced Arab knowledge of arithmetic, astronomy and astrology to Europe. The first French Pope, he was reputed to have studied magic and astrology at Islamic cities. Sylvester was supposed to have built his brazen head or to have acquired it from a Buddhist secret society called ‘the Nine Unknown Men’, a robotic head answering yes or no. These nine unknown men are described as a two millennia old secret society founded by Indian Emperor Asoka 270BC with the purpose of preserving and developing knowledge that would be dangerous to humanity if in the wrong hands. Echoes here of a type of ‘Priory of Sion’, but we must seriously consider that our own secretive society of Templars also started with nine men in 1118. Another owner of a head was the important Arab Muslim scholar, inventor and mechanical engineer Al-Jazari (1136-1206BC), celebrated during the Islamic Golden Age and credited with first recording designs of a programmable humanoid robot in 1206. (Leonardo Da Vinci sketched more complex automatons around 1495). Let us not forget the the Templars did involve themselves with the Muslim world, a world they so often opposed only on the battlefield. Robert Grosseteste (1175-1253) was another reputed owner of one of these magical heads. Grosseteste being a philosopher, theologian and Bishop of Lincoln in 1235 – the Lincoln connection, at last! His most famous student was Robert Bacon (1214-1294) who surfaces in Umberto Eco’s novel ‘Foucault’s Pendulum’ described as a rogue magician. Bacon is said to have created a brazen talking head that could answer any question. One of the most famous Franciscan friars of his time, Bacon advocated a modern scientific method although studies at a later date revealing him to place a reliance on occult and astrological traditions and alchemy. Albertus Magus (1193-1206) was acknowledged as being Germany’s greatest philosopher and theologian, a Dominican friar achieving fame for a comprehensive knowledge advocating peaceful co-existence of both science and religion. Like Grosseteste, after his death, stories present Magus as a magician/alchemist, and he, too, is recorded as the creator of a brass head mechanical automaton capable of providing any answer asked of it.

Templecombe Panel painting

Templecombe Panel painting

And so it appears that the Templars are in good company when it comes to being custodians of a talking head! Maybe this theory – and it appears I have now joined the legions of theorists – is correct, but without the evidence of a discovery we cannot be sure. Maybe an automaton connected with Grosseteste awaits us in a cache buried at Lincoln? I have tried to build up a case for the Templars involvement with alchemists and varying degrees of magician. Before I present one last rabbit out of the hat, involving the Templecombe panel painting, we must first tarry a short while with the phenomenon of ‘synchronicity’. My LDVC is a complex yet simple series of network involving these experiences of two or more events that consistently occur meaningfully, casually inexplicable to the person who has the experience of them. One of my more obvious LDVC one is that my ‘Grail’ searching led me to the city and Cathedral of Lincoln, and the name of the chap who instigated the UK’s interest in RLC and the Grail is Henry

Panel painting revised showing Templar's automaton head

Panel painting revised showing Templar’s automaton head

Lincoln! Not to mention Hollywood choosing to film scenes for ‘The Da Vinci Code’ within the Cathedral when the Cathedral has its own ‘Last Supper’ Code! Such is the phenomenon known as synchronicity, Jung describing it wonderfully as ‘meaningful coincidence’ and ‘acausal parallelism’. Jung announced synchronicity as a governing dynamic underlaying the whole human experience and its social, emotional, psychological and spiritual history. (I would think the Templars figure in that spiritual history). And so, this marvel we call synchronicity is quite a bit of a sleuth, clue hunter and provider, which is just as well as we now return to Templecombe and its very own treasure, the puzzling panel painting which some say represents Jesus other arguing John the Baptist. (it is placed near the baptisimal Font). Templecombe was given to the Hospitallers after the Templar suppression and it is rumoured to be an old Hospitaller painting of John the Baptist who was the Patron Saint of the order of the Hospitallers of St John, more so than the Templars. The Hospitallers are said to have unearthed the Baptist tomb and burnt his bones to prevent relic hunters success, keeping only the head. Our head, as most of us know, a life size painting carbon dated as 1280, was discovered hidden under plaster upon the ceiling of an outhouse in the small

Florence Baptistry door - Salome receives the head of John

Florence Baptistry door – Salome receives the head of John

Templecombe village, owned by a Mrs Topp. I would like to point out, in support of those who claim it represents the Baptist (given that the Templars are said to have given special homage to John) that the geometric shape that frames the panel head can be found identical to the one that can be seen on the South Doors of the Florence Baptistery which shows a presentation of the head of John to Salome – By Andrea Pisano 1330-36. By employing the same John related design, is this telling us that the Templecombe head is of John ? I would like to take it a step further, but first I must appear to take a very strange and unexpected digression!

Foldees200x217In the mid 1950’s a set of cards called ‘Foldees’ were produced by America’s top bubblegum card company (although an earlier set had been made as early as 1949) – an innovative and original set of 44 ‘metamorphic’ cards, nine different pictures being able to be made from every card by mixing and matching folded tops and bottoms of each card. A similar set in 1976 enabled 33 Foldees containing three images to produce 297 combinations of changing faces and bodies. So why do I tell you this? Well, it is the best example I can!!provide, whilst I continue scouring the stage magicians set of ‘visual conundrums’, to demonstrate that this is EXACTLY what the Templecombe panel head actually is! A hidden image that can be sought by altering the arrangement of the wooden panels as they stand. Stage magicians from earlier centuries had a similar presentation with wooden slats that with a pull of string down the sides would spin the strips around so that they would land randomly and show a different picture from the original. By inverting the 3rd panel, placing the first below it, and below that inverting the

Coffin slab, St John the Baptist church, South South Witham, confirming revised Templecombe automaton head

Coffin slab, St John the Baptist church, South South Witham, confirming revised Templecombe automaton head

second panel, the head of a talking automaton appears! A face represented on a 14thC 6’ stone coffin lid at the 13thC Church of St John the Baptist. The only remains of the site of the Templar Preceptory at South Witham shows a near identical representation of this Templecombe revision particularly with the same noticeable hairstyle, and a representation of the tracheal rings of the windpipe (mistakenly thought on the slab to be a beard). Is this what the Templecombe panel painting finally reveals?

Oh, one last thing. Remember synchronicity, the clue hunter and provider? Well the name of that bubblegum company that invented ‘the Foldees’ card and who still trade in the USA today is ‘Topp’s’, one and the same as Mrs Topp, in whose outhouse the painting was hidden, and who in 1956 donated it to the St Mary’s church…?

Dan Green


dan_green100Dan Green is a British author, writer, broadcaster and researcher specialising in Synchronicity and the Collective Unconscious and refers to himself as ‘A Human Search Engine’.

Inducted into the arcane via the Tibetan systems of Kalachakra and Vajrayana, he directed his 2010 Movie Documentary ‘The Murder of Mary Magdalene – Genocide of the Holy Bloodline’ based on his books that synthesise the mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau and his discovery of ‘The Lincoln Cathedral Code’.

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