Carol Wilson explained that she had decided to focus her talk on the village of Westerdale in the time of the Knights Templar from the early thirteenth to the early fourteenth century.
The Knights Templar , though a religious order following St Benedict, were also a military order and were known for their business acumen, being the first international bankers.
Westerdale parish lies within the old wapentake of Langbaurgh, and was given to the Knights Templar by de Bovincourt, an under tenant of the de Balliol family.
The Templars established a preceptory in the village of Westerdale probably on what is now the site of Westerdale Hall. Their records of 1307 describe a hall, chamber, kitchen, stable, granary and cattle shed, enclosed within an area extending to six and a half acres.
Important for any medieval settlement was the mill – this was situated just west of the hall -
The Court Leet was held in the Hall, under the jurisdiction of the Knights Templar, thus giving them control over the administration of payment of tithes, minor criminal offences as well as such matters as local road repairs.
Carol suggested that under the Knights Templar, due to their good business sense and organising ability, Westerdale flourished during their tenure, and there are suggestions that the population increased necessitating the farming of more land.
Westerdale At The Time Of The Knights Templar
Ingleby Greenhow Village Hall
Thursday 13th July at 7.30pm