Preceptory of the Knights Templar, Penhill
Historical Environment Record No: MYD4459
Parish: West Witton
OS Grid Reference: SE035887
Dale: Lower Wensleydale
Link to Archaeology Data Service:
This house of the Knights Templar was founded by Roger Mowbray around 1142, dissolved in 1308-12 and passed to the Knights Hospitallers who accounted it worthless in 1328 due to its ruinous state. The first preceptory, mentioned during the period 1170-1181, was sited to the north west of Temple Farm. It was rapidly replaced by a new preceptory, in existence by 1202 and lying a short distance to the south. The remains of the second preceptory’s stone built chapel were uncovered in 1840 and have been preserved. The chapel measured 17.5 metres east to west by 6.8 metres internally with walls 1.3 metres wide and 1.1 metres maximum height. In the centre of the main floor are three stone coffins with cover slabs whilst in the chancel is the stone base of an altar. Slight earthworks around it indicate the presence of other buildings contemporary with it.
Dennison, E (2004) ‘An Historical Landscape Survey: The Swinithwaite Estate, West Witton’ in White, R F & Wilson, P R (eds) (2004) Archaeology and Historic Landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales. Yorkshire Archaeological Society Occasional Paper No 2 pp25-37 [‘The Knights Templar Estate’ pp27-30]
Public Transport Details
Nearest town/village: West Burton. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 885 for North Yorkshire information.