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Temple Thornton

In the civil parish of Hartburn.
In the historic county of Northumberland.
Modern Authority of Northumberland.
1974 county of Northumberland.
Medieval County of Northumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NZ103856
Latitude 55.16525° Longitude -1.83927°

Temple Thornton has been described as a Pele Tower although is doubtful that it was such.

There are no visible remains.


Although there are no signs of any medieval buildings at Temple Thornton Farm today, this is said to be the site of a property and chapel belonging to the Knights Templar. The land was given to them by William de Lisle and medieval documents record their presence here. When the order was suppressed in 1312 all their property in Northumberland was given to John de Kingston. (Keys to the Past)

Property and probable camera of Knights Templars, later of Knights Hospitallers. Chapel (under above) (Hadcock 1939).
A carucate of land at THORNTON was given to the Knights Templar by WILLIAM DE LISLE (about the time of KING JOHN) for the maintenance of a chaplain in THORNTON chapel. This land probably made up part of their estate at TEMPLE THORNTON. In 1294 a dispute over certain liberties of the order was held at NEWCASTLE Assizes.
The order was suppressed in 1312 and all their property in Northumberland was granted to JOHN DE KINGSTON.
The present TEMPLE THORNTON is a farm of 108 acres (Hodgson 1827).
House of Knights Templar at TEMPLE THORNTON. Though this has sometimes been considered a preceptory it is doubtful if it was more than a camera for a chaplain, a bailiff and a woodward, such as existed in 1338 after it had passed to the Hospitallers. The income in 1338 was £16 (Knowles and Hadcock)
Enquiries of Colonel Cookson of Meldon Park, Hartbum, owner of Temple Thornton Farm, and perusal of Temple Thornton Farm Accounts: 14th Century, revealed no siting evidence for the camera. A perambulation of Temple Thornton Farm buildings revealed no traces of antiquity, the buildings being of prob. mid - 18th century work (F1 ASP 20-JAN-56). (PastScape)

A tower here is just a non-proven possibility (Dodds 1999)

The term camera can have a number of meanings in the context of medieval documents and a small tower is certainly one. Both the Templars and Hospitallers (if this site did come to them) would have had the money and status to build a pele tower to house a chaplain and a Templar chaplain might well expect such a building.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:09

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