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PostPosted: 23 Mar 2013 2:19 pm 
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With a Templar preceptory 3 miles from RLC as the crow flies and Cathars also in the area, a connection seems unavoidable!

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PostPosted: 23 Mar 2013 8:28 pm 
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wayward wrote:
With a Templar preceptory 3 miles from RLC as the crow flies and Cathars also in the area, a connection seems unavoidable!

I agree .....its amazing how the Templar myth has continued in Freemasonry

the bankers of Europe taken over by French and Vatican

and yet not all were taken October 13 is remembered

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PostPosted: 25 Mar 2013 12:28 pm 
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lovuian wrote:
wayward wrote:
With a Templar preceptory 3 miles from RLC as the crow flies and Cathars also in the area, a connection seems unavoidable!

I agree .....its amazing how the Templar myth has continued in Freemasonry



Yeah Lov, and what I was referring to was the village of Compagne-sur-Aude and its, oft mentioned by Roscoe, Templar preceptory.
There is also some relatively new information on the alleged carved Templar graveslabs in Argyll.

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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2013 3:15 am 
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Interesting Bill
keep me posted

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PostPosted: 27 Mar 2013 9:59 am 
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lovuian wrote:
Interesting Bill
keep me posted



It seems that Templar style carved graveslabs appeared on the scene in Argyll quite suddenly after the 13th century.

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PostPosted: 27 Mar 2013 9:22 pm 
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wayward wrote:
lovuian wrote:
Interesting Bill
keep me posted




It seems that Templar style carved graveslabs appeared on the scene in Argyll quite suddenly after the 13th century.


Vous avez une source fiable pour cette information?


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2013 11:11 am 
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Tertius wrote:
wayward wrote:



It seems that Templar style carved graveslabs appeared on the scene in Argyll quite suddenly after the 13th century.


Vous avez une source fiable pour cette information?



It is very much disputed that these are Templar graveslabs, but the fact is, except for the Argyll area, carved medieval graveslabs are relatively uncommon.
Alan Mason in his "The Mystery of the Vanished Templar Fleet" quotes from "Scotland's Heritage-Aegyll and the Western Isles"
"In the late medieval period a distinctive art style flourished throughout (Argyll)...but the west highland slabs...belong to two distinct periods of carving, with no continuity of craft traditions."
Alan Mason continues with "The truth about the existence of these carved stone grave slabs is threefold. They were immediate, highly competent, and with a restricted subject matter. (i) immediate: There is no records of early attempts at small-scale, simple designs gradually developing towards more complex ones. The whole nature of the evidence points towards the sudden arrival in Argyll of already very skilled craftsman."
btw, My own family is from this area of Scotland.

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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2013 12:00 pm 
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Argyll and the Western Highlands and Islands have their own fascinating history without throwing pseudo Templars into the mix. These carved slabs show West Highland warriors with their wooden galleys.

Have you read this....

http://bshistorian.wordpress.com/2007/1 ... s-templar/

i'll provide a link only ... don't want that Kitty getting it's furballs in a twist again.


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2013 12:34 pm 
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Sheila wrote:
Argyll and the Western Highlands and Islands have their own fascinating history without throwing pseudo Templars into the mix. These carved slabs show West Highland warriors with their wooden galleys.

Have you read this....

http://bshistorian.wordpress.com/2007/1 ... s-templar/

i'll provide a link only ... don't want that Kitty getting it's furballs in a twist again.



Thanks Sheila, and yes I have read that link, as well as many others intent on calling the whole idea of escaped Templars in Scotland pseudo-history. But, I am not saying that all of these slabs represent the graves of Templar warriors (although I do believe a few do). My own point is that skilled stone carvers appeared suddenly in Argyll during the late 13th or early 14th century, and at the same time the Knights Templar order did employ skilled stone carvers. IMHO, The idea of this being accomplished by pseudo-Templars seems to be making the claim that no Templars after the troubles in France made their way to the scottish highlands. When in fact we know there were 100's of Templar holdings already in Scotland with only two actual half hearted arrests.
And yes, I do agree that the homeland of my ancestors does have a fascinating history even without the Templars.

Yeah, about that kitty...

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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2013 5:26 pm 
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wayward wrote:
Thanks Sheila, and yes I have read that link, as well as many others intent on calling the whole idea of escaped Templars in Scotland pseudo-history. But, I am not saying that all of these slabs represent the graves of Templar warriors (although I do believe a few do). My own point is that skilled stone carvers appeared suddenly in Argyll during the late 13th or early 14th century


Did they? And there hadn't been skilled stone carvers in Argyll before that time? What's your source for this information?

wayward wrote:
and at the same time the Knights Templar order did employ skilled stone carvers.


Did they? How about a source for that information?

wayward wrote:
IMHO, The idea of this being accomplished by pseudo-Templars seems to be making the claim that no Templars after the troubles in France made their way to the scottish highlands. When in fact we know there were 100's of Templar holdings already in Scotland with only two actual half hearted arrests.


Hundreds of Templar holdings in Scotland? Are we counting every parcel of arable land with nothing built on it that they might have rented to tenant farmers? Hundreds seems a little ambitious; do you have a source for this, Bill?

TCP


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2013 8:05 pm 
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TCP wrote:
wayward wrote:
Thanks Sheila, and yes I have read that link, as well as many others intent on calling the whole idea of escaped Templars in Scotland pseudo-history. But, I am not saying that all of these slabs represent the graves of Templar warriors (although I do believe a few do). My own point is that skilled stone carvers appeared suddenly in Argyll during the late 13th or early 14th century


Did they? And there hadn't been skilled stone carvers in Argyll before that time? What's your source for this information?

wayward wrote:
and at the same time the Knights Templar order did employ skilled stone carvers.


Did they? How about a source for that information?

wayward wrote:
IMHO, The idea of this being accomplished by pseudo-Templars seems to be making the claim that no Templars after the troubles in France made their way to the scottish highlands. When in fact we know there were 100's of Templar holdings already in Scotland with only two actual half hearted arrests.


Hundreds of Templar holdings in Scotland? Are we counting every parcel of arable land with nothing built on it that they might have rented to tenant farmers? Hundreds seems a little ambitious; do you have a source for this, Bill?

TCP



The first part of your question I answer a few posts up. I am not sure how reliable the reference is, which is why I am bringing it up for discussion.

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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2013 8:21 pm 
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Wayward, my bonny lad, those effigies i assume you are alluding to do not depict Templar chaps, they depict our own proud warriors and warlords.


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2013 8:23 pm 
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Wayward wrote:
It seems that Templar style carved graveslabs appeared on the scene in Argyll quite suddenly after the 13th century.


let me be polite here...could you give me a link to the effigies you have in mind here, before i go off on one.

Gathered together at Cille Mhrtainn/Kilmartin church are 80 sculpted stone grave slabs gathered from around the Kilmartin reggion. The earliest of the slabs dates to the 13th century, and the latest to 1712. Most of the stones (those thought to be most at risk from weathering) are protected under cover of a former mausoleum building at the rear of the churchyard. A few others still lie 'in situ' within the churchyard.
A popular yet unproven theory suggests that the Kilmartin carvings are linked in some way to the Knights Templar. This theory appears to be based on the style of swords carved on many of the slabs.The two most important monuments at Kilmartin are not the grave slabs, however, but the so-called 'Kilmartin crosses', a pair of beautifully carved crosses, one dating from the 9th or 10th century, and the other of late medieval date. The Kilmartin Crosses have been moved inside the church for protection.


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2013 10:02 pm 
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Sheila wrote:
Wayward, my bonny lad, those effigies i assume you are alluding to do not depict Templar chaps, they depict our own proud warriors and warlords.



Understood, but my point is not that these slabs depict templar warriors but that they are carved by masons not native to the Scottish Highlands. In the 13th century Templar Knights along with Templar Masons were escaping the troubles in France. Although I also am sure there were a number of Scottish Knights Templar.

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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2013 10:05 pm 
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Sheila wrote:
Wayward wrote:
It seems that Templar style carved graveslabs appeared on the scene in Argyll quite suddenly after the 13th century.


let me be polite here...could you give me a link to the effigies you have in mind here, before i go off on one.

Gathered together at Cille Mhrtainn/Kilmartin church are 80 sculpted stone grave slabs gathered from around the Kilmartin reggion. The earliest of the slabs dates to the 13th century, and the latest to 1712. Most of the stones (those thought to be most at risk from weathering) are protected under cover of a former mausoleum building at the rear of the churchyard. A few others still lie 'in situ' within the churchyard.
A popular yet unproven theory suggests that the Kilmartin carvings are linked in some way to the Knights Templar. This theory appears to be based on the style of swords carved on many of the slabs.The two most important monuments at Kilmartin are not the grave slabs, however, but the so-called 'Kilmartin crosses', a pair of beautifully carved crosses, one dating from the 9th or 10th century, and the other of late medieval date. The Kilmartin Crosses have been moved inside the church for protection.



"The earliest of the slabs dates to the 13th century"

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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2013 10:31 pm 
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Thanks Wayward, i hear you, that's why i posted the above...but which of these carved slabs do you have in mind please, could you post up a link to the culprits so that i can verify .... before i go off on a rant :)

Quote:
not native to the Scottish Highlands.

Yep got that, the masons were Irish i believe, earlier than the Loch Awe school of hammer & chisel.


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2013 10:50 pm 
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two choices...midnight rant or go to bed...and since i have an unerring aptitude for emptying the forum...i'm probably best to call it a night...gives you a chance to post up the stone/stones in question.


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2013 10:59 pm 
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Sheila wrote:
two choices...midnight rant or go to bed...and since i have an unerring aptitude for emptying the forum...i'm probably best to call it a night...gives you a chance to post up the stone/stones in question.


Oh heck, and here I am, oh well!

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PostPosted: 29 Mar 2013 12:38 am 
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wayward wrote:
The first part of your question I answer a few posts up. I am not sure how reliable the reference is, which is why I am bringing it up for discussion.


Well, let's take a look at what your source (Alan Mason) has to say on the matter:

http://deskarati.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Vanished-Fleet.pdf

THE MEDIEVAL GRAVE SLABS OF ARGYLL

We turn now to offer some explanation of the claim that we know with geographical
precision where the fugitive Templar fleets finally moored. The evidence is a little unusual
and requires some historical perspective.

The first fact is that medieval grave slabs are relatively uncommon. It was not until the
early 16 C that the wealthier members of society began to commission carved stone grave
slabs for the deceased. In the medieval period these were limited to the senior nobility and
senior clergy like abbots and bishops. Yet in one small part of Britain there is a wealth of
large, carved stone grave slabs from the medieval period. This place is the western coast
of Argyll in Scotland, just south of the seaport of Oban.

The Conventional View

Conventional archaeology has responded to this astonishing situation with rather humdrum
explanations. “In the late medieval period a distinctive art style flourished throughout
(Argyll)... but the West Highland slabs...belong to two distinct periods of carving, with no
continuity of craft traditions. This double flowering of stone carving of such a high order is
one of the most striking features of the heritage of Argyll.” (pp. 92-93, “Exploring
Scotland’s Heritage –Argyll and the Western Isles”, Graham Ritchie, and Mary Harman,
HMSO, Edinburgh, 1985)

While admitting that the evidence is “striking” the authors offer no explanation as to how it
might have come about. There is much talk of “schools of carving” rather as if it was a kind
of basket-making or hand-loom weaving suitable for the long winter evenings. It has to be
remembered that the local people of the region were poor farmers and fisher-folk, putting in
long hours of backbreaking toil. The idea that they were able to create extensive and skilled
stone carving “schools” is frankly absurd.

The truth about the existence of these carved stone grave slabs is threefold. They were
immediate, highly competent, and with a restricted subject matter.

(i) Immediate

There is no record of early attempts at small-scale, simple designs gradually developing
towards more complex ones. The whole nature of the evidence points towards the sudden
arrival in Argyll of already very skilled craftsmen.

(ii) Highly Competent

The grave slabs are large, five to six feet high and three to four feet wide. Even the quarrying
of such large pieces of stone involves considerable technical skill, as well as being a time
consuming process. The rock used is blue-grey-green in colour, and quite hard, probably a
local phyllite. (Phyllites as a group are metamorphic rocks, finer-grained than schists, but
more coarsely grained than slates.).

The designs are often complex, involving human figures, weapons, tools, foliage, interlace
and zoomorphic (animal) forms, so that the designer would assume the stone carver was
capable of executing such intricate work on a large scale piece.

(iii) Restricted Subject Matter
As these carvings are grave slabs it might appear that the subject matter would be restricted,
but it is rather more varied than might otherwise be expected. There is certainly some
attempt to commemorate the deceased, if not in accurate portraiture, then in terms of his
profession, as a knight in armour with his sword. Many slabs have only a longsword to
indicate the profession of arms.

For centuries, the sword has been a symbol of knightly rank, (and much later, officer rank in
the services) not bestowed on humbler warriors at lower levels. The design of the swords and
armour enable experts to date the carvings to the early and middle fourteenth century, the
very time of the flight of the Templars.

Some of the grave stones may indicate a professional seaman with an intricate galley at the
head of the slab, and a sword along its length, to indicate a warrior and a seaman, maybe a
Templar naval officer.

(OK, I'll stop there for now.)

"The first fact is that medieval grave slabs are relatively uncommon. It was not until the
early 16 C that the wealthier members of society began to commission carved stone grave
slabs for the deceased."


That's more than a bit absurd.

"Conventional archaeology has responded to this astonishing situation with rather humdrum
explanations. “In the late medieval period a distinctive art style flourished throughout
(Argyll)... but the West Highland slabs...belong to two distinct periods of carving, with no
continuity of craft traditions. This double flowering of stone carving of such a high order is
one of the most striking features of the heritage of Argyll.” (pp. 92-93, “Exploring
Scotland’s Heritage –Argyll and the Western Isles”, Graham Ritchie, and Mary Harman,
HMSO, Edinburgh, 1985).

"While admitting that the evidence is “striking” the authors offer no explanation as to how it
might have come about."


Strange that Mason would be so dismissive of one of the very few independent sources he cites in his essay, yet he relies so heavily and unquestioningly on HBHG without the slightest bit of apparent doubt. It appears as though Mason's only interest, or use, for citing the reference is to fill the gap left by Ritchie and Harman mentioning the two distinct periods shown in the carvings. Very odd reasoning.

"There is much talk of “schools of carving” rather as if it was a kind
of basket-making or hand-loom weaving suitable for the long winter evenings. It has to be
remembered that the local people of the region were poor farmers and fisher-folk, putting in
long hours of backbreaking toil. The idea that they were able to create extensive and skilled
stone carving “schools” is frankly absurd."


I think the only thing "frankly absurd" here is Mason's assumption that Richie and Harman are suggesting that these carvings were executed by "poor farmers and fisher-folk" on long winter evenings.

"There is no record of early attempts at small-scale, simple designs gradually developing
towards more complex ones. The whole nature of the evidence points towards the sudden
arrival in Argyll of already very skilled craftsmen."


That may be the case but it certainly doesn't shed light on where these skilled craftsmen arrived from.

"The designs are often complex, involving human figures, weapons, tools, foliage, interlace
and zoomorphic (animal) forms, so that the designer would assume the stone carver was
capable of executing such intricate work on a large scale piece."


Isn't that sort of self-evident? Why would anyone need to assume anything?

"As these carvings are grave slabs it might appear that the subject matter would be restricted,
but it is rather more varied than might otherwise be expected. There is certainly some
attempt to commemorate the deceased, if not in accurate portraiture, then in terms of his
profession, as a knight in armour with his sword. Many slabs have only a longsword to
indicate the profession of arms.

"For centuries, the sword has been a symbol of knightly rank, (and much later, officer rank in
the services) not bestowed on humbler warriors at lower levels. The design of the swords and
armour enable experts to date the carvings to the early and middle fourteenth century, the
very time of the flight of the Templars."


Which might be significant if these types of swords and armor were unique to the Templars, which they aren't. Also in western Scotland at the time there were significant numbers of "Gallowglass" mercenaries who, while not knights in the Anglo-Norman sense, fulfilled much the same role in the employ of local lords and who were similarly outfitted with chain mail and broadswords. Most were of mixed Norse and Gaelic ethnicity.

"Some of the grave stones may indicate a professional seaman with an intricate galley at the
head of the slab, and a sword along its length, to indicate a warrior and a seaman, maybe a
Templar naval officer."


Ever hear of the West Highland Galley? Also called a birlinn or, in heraldry, a lymphad. Here's a description for a book about them:

http://books.google.com/books/about/The_West_Highland_galley.html?id=pYzfAAAAMAAJ

The West Highland Galley
Denis Rixson

From the resonant prose of the Privy Council Registers it is clear that Highland galleys were a thorn in the flesh of the Lowland government. But they were also much more than that. For nearly a millenium, the West Highland Galley was the vehicle for island life. A Gaelic adaptation of a Norse design, the ships guaranteed the independence of the islands for hundreds of years. This book is a long overdue assessment of these important and enigmatic craft. For the first time, Denis Rixson brings out the importance of the galley in the economy of the Highlands as a means of transporting mercenaries to Ireland*. With the Union of the Crowns, this source of employment and money dried up and the collapse of the Highland economy followed. The author shows how this surplus manpower became a major factor in the collapse of Scotland into civil war and anarchy from the 1630s on. Although extensively researched, this is a fascinating and accessible book for general readers as well as historians.

* i.e. "Gallowglass" mercenaries

Here's another blurb:

English.British Naval History

"Denis Rixson, The West Highland Galley, 1998, was about a Hebridean galley with Irish connections. D.C. McWhannell, The Galley of Argyle, 2002, described West Highland galleys. They were based on Scandinavian vessels of the Viking era. They were used over 800 years and were key symbols of power. Unfortunately, no nautical archaeological finds have been made. Depictions were from heraldry, jewelry, grave stones, grafitti, and pub signs. McWhannell studied 78 different stone inscriptions which contained images of these galleys.

And one more just for good measure:

Lymphad

"A Lymphad or galley is a charge used primarily in Scottish heraldry. It is a single masted ship propelled by oars. In addition to the mast and oars, the Lymphad has three flags and a basket. The word comes from the Scottish Gaelic long fhada, meaning a long ship or birlinn. It usually indicates a title associated with islands, such as Lord of the Isles, specifically those on the west coast of Scotland, but not limited to the Hebrides. Also, it is not limited to Scottish arms, prominent examples including the coats of arms of New Zealand and New Brunswick.

"Although the drawing of the lymphad for heraldic design purposes naturally became standardized, there are minor differences. These usually involve the position of the sails and oars and the tincture of the flags. There are other variations as well, such as the tincture of the ship. Additionally, the basket may be afire and the a crew may be depicted."

It would seem that simply because Alan Mason isn't familiar with this iconography, he assumes no one else is either.

Image

Pretty, isn't it?

Image

A Gallowglass grave slab - see the boat?

TCP


Last edited by TCP on 29 Mar 2013 2:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 29 Mar 2013 12:40 am 
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wayward wrote:
Sheila wrote:
Wayward, my bonny lad, those effigies i assume you are alluding to do not depict Templar chaps, they depict our own proud warriors and warlords.



Understood, but my point is not that these slabs depict templar warriors but that they are carved by masons not native to the Scottish Highlands. In the 13th century Templar Knights along with Templar Masons were escaping the troubles in France. Although I also am sure there were a number of Scottish Knights Templar.


The only statement here that can be attested is that there were indeed Scottish Templars.

TCP


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PostPosted: 29 Mar 2013 3:05 am 
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http://historyofdonegal.wordpress.com/2012/03/

Image

Cloncha Grave Stone, Culdaff

The author highlights the sporting and warlike connections of the deceased because of the sword and hurley on the slab. In the eyes of his peers, he was a heroic figure, but despite the highly decorative floral tributes, he was not of a noble family; otherwise a family crest would have adorned his memorial. He had the credentials associated with success and heroism: only a sportsman and warrior of outstanding skill would merit having his emblems sculpted on his tomb in the manner of earls, bishops and their likes. As a gallowglass, he lies in a hallowed spot amid four High Crosses (one in ruins) in an ancient monastic site and burial place. Here, members of the clergy, a royal chaplain, the gentry and one bishop were interred.

<...>

Of transnational relevance is the fact that the stone is a celebration of Hiberno-Scottish culture in a number of ways. The deceased was from the Isles of Scotland. The Norsemen occupied these territories and it was from them that Magnas got his Christian name: an authoritative link beween Inishowen, Scotland and the Norse sagas. The inscription is in Scots Gaelic and is one of the rare examples of such writing on public memorials to have survived. The sword has been indentified as a two-handed Scottish claymore, a crude weapon of medieval warfare, commonly used in the most brutal phase of battle. Our Scottish connections are many: the first Methodist ministers here preached to their congregations in Scots-Gaelic. Indeed the stone can also be placed in the context of our Ulster-Scots heritage.

TCP


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PostPosted: 29 Mar 2013 12:30 pm 
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Sheila wrote:
Thanks Wayward, i hear you, that's why i posted the above...but which of these carved slabs do you have in mind please, could you post up a link to the culprits so that i can verify .... before i go off on a rant :)

Quote:
not native to the Scottish Highlands.

Yep got that, the masons were Irish i believe, earlier than the Loch Awe school of hammer & chisel.


Please don't go off on a rant as I bruise easily.
Firstly, IMHO if any of the carved slabs are of Templar Knights it would have been only a few. Of course as I mentioned there were Scottish Templar Knights anyhow. Carved graveslabs of Templar Knights in Argyll is not a part of my premise.
The most interesting aspect of these carved slabs is the sudden arrival at around the 13th century of this type of stone work, and very importantly, the required tools, in the Argyll area. This, as you know closely coincides with the Templar arrests in France of the very early 14th century.
I have always been partial to the Ardchattan Priory of Valliscaulian monks. An offshoot of the Cistercians which is what the Templars were, and the order (Cistercian)which some of the Templars melted into after the troubles in France.
When the Valliscaulian order was dissolved Ardchattan became Cistercian.
I would think that any escaped Templars arriving in Loch Etive would have been warmly welcomed by the monks of Ardchattan Priory. Remember it would have been highly unlikely that these monks had even yet heard of the arrests in France by late 1307.
It is also interesting that "The Bruce" held a parliament at Ardchattan in early 1308.
IMHO, the stone masons could have been any nationality but would have been Templars.

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PostPosted: 29 Mar 2013 1:20 pm 
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it's okay, rant has been cancelled.


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PostPosted: 29 Mar 2013 1:26 pm 
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Sheila wrote:
it's okay, rant has been cancelled.



Thank you, whew! :)

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PostPosted: 29 Mar 2013 4:14 pm 
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Queen Bee
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Joined: 31 May 2008 12:53 am
Posts: 8973
Location: Los Angeles
wayward wrote:
Sheila wrote:
Thanks Wayward, i hear you, that's why i posted the above...but which of these carved slabs do you have in mind please, could you post up a link to the culprits so that i can verify .... before i go off on a rant :)

Quote:
not native to the Scottish Highlands.

Yep got that, the masons were Irish i believe, earlier than the Loch Awe school of hammer & chisel.


Please don't go off on a rant as I bruise easily.
Firstly, IMHO if any of the carved slabs are of Templar Knights it would have been only a few. Of course as I mentioned there were Scottish Templar Knights anyhow. Carved graveslabs of Templar Knights in Argyll is not a part of my premise.
The most interesting aspect of these carved slabs is the sudden arrival at around the 13th century of this type of stone work, and very importantly, the required tools, in the Argyll area. This, as you know closely coincides with the Templar arrests in France of the very early 14th century.
I have always been partial to the Ardchattan Priory of Valliscaulian monks. An offshoot of the Cistercians which is what the Templars were, and the order (Cistercian)which some of the Templars melted into after the troubles in France.
When the Valliscaulian order was dissolved Ardchattan became Cistercian.
I would think that any escaped Templars arriving in Loch Etive would have been warmly welcomed by the monks of Ardchattan Priory. Remember it would have been highly unlikely that these monks had even yet heard of the arrests in France by late 1307.
It is also interesting that "The Bruce" held a parliament at Ardchattan in early 1308.
IMHO, the stone masons could have been any nationality but would have been Templars.


Then surely there should be comparable examples of Templar grave slabs elsewhere, right?

TCP


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