In 1231 when Henry III granted the Manor and advowson of Rothley church to the Templars, they had already held land in this part of Leicestershire for at least 28 years. The preceptory grew to include large amounts of land several mills and five dependent chapels. The rent received from Rothley mills was used to provide food on special occasions to the knights on duty in the stronghold of Acre.
The site of the preceptory is today occupied by a hotel, the only extant remains of the original buildings is the chapel (circa 1240), which remains largely unaltered. At its greatest, the preceptory consisted of the chapel, the hall, a dormitory, stables, kitchen, storehouses, bakery, buttery and brewery.
In 1285 the order was granted the right to hold a weekly market and annual fair in the village.
Below is a set of Simon Brighton's photographs from Rothley.
Any visitors need to get the key from hotel reception. The carved stone is in the nearby church yard and may or may not be associated with Templar history but is enigmatic all the same.
As always click on the small pictures below to access the high resolution originals.
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