map ref. NZ 665 058
The Preceptory at Westerdale sadly no longer remains neither is the Temple that is thought to have been separate from it. A useful pamphlet available at the local Church informs us that the Preceptory was thought to have been located where Town Farm now stands, with the Temple on Waites House Common.
The original village Church of Westerdale was undoubtedly built or at least restored by the Templars as many items of typical Templar stonework have been found on the site, some of these being incorporated into the present Church building dating to 1838. There is much evidence in Templar stone salvaged for use in various houses and buildings around the village, a fine cross being set into the village hall. In the Churchyard there is a fine skull and crossed bones gravestone and in the porch a selection of grave slabs dug up in the locality over the past few years, one of these depicts a sword, bow and arrow typical of manyTemplar gravestones found in the Kilmartin area of Scotland. There is a modern processional cross in the Church depicting a Templar Cross with below Solomon's Temple, a very nice touch helping to keep the churches roots alive The Christ Church at Westerdale is one of the very few in these sad times to leave its doors open during the day, so if you are in the area it is well worth a visit.
Just out side the village is a real gem, a medieval bridge stands next to the ford in the road which is the current highway, as you pass thro' the ford a look to the right (from the Church) reveals the bridge hidden in shrubbery, the bridge was restored in the mid 19c but displays near certain Templar Quality, the bridge is all the more remarkable as it is a bridge from nowhere to nowhere its only destination a farmers field.
Copy and Pictures: Dennis Garner