The Caynton Caves Are Templar! Revealed!

The curved passage of a Templar Church

Tucked away in a Shropshire field outside of Shifnal, is a rabbit hole large enough for a robust, prayerful, Templar Knight to squeeze through –

Photographer Michael Scott stormed the internet in early March, 2017, with his candlelit exposé of the Caynton Caves.

Thirty-three-year-old Scott was quoted as saying, ‘I traipsed over a field to find it, but if you didn’t know it was there you would just walk right past it.’ He also added, ‘It’s probably less than a metre underground, so it’s more into the field than under it.  Considering how long it’s been there it’s in amazing condition, it’s like an underground temple.’ 1.

The portal is just beneath a small wooded area near Caynton Hall of Caynton Shropshire and like all local monuments, went unnoticed by those living nearby.

Astonishing since the Templars have been growing in modern fame since the Da Vinci Code burst on the scene in 2006.  One would have to be living under a rock to be ignorant of the Templars!  So, why now and who were the Templars?

The international chivalrous order had been charged with every ludicrous crime invented by King Philip of France in 1307, having cruelly executed their Grand Master, Jacques de Molay by fire in 1314.

Kneel Templar

The Templars literally went underground to protect their reverence of God from prying eyes and just maybe, an Ark or two.  Ever watchful of potential threats, the Order carved out the Caynton Cave, amongst others, prior to the attack by the French crown and its wayward Pope.

The entrance of Caynton Temple is via hands and knees!  Scott told one newspaper that head height is about six feet or less in places, so mind your head.

Caynton Entrance
Caters/ Michael Scott

tripple archway

Caters/ Michael Scott

Scott beautifully exploited multiple carved and ruined niches within the structure, giving us an atmospheric glimpse of how the Templars would have seen the underground church.  It has changed little since.  The photo above is of three archways within a chamber that appears to be domed.  A cross can be seen on the right hand side.

Many Templar structures involved a dome circular church in mimicry of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem where they excavated beneath the structure for nine years.

It is my theory that they found what they were looking for too; lost treasures from the time of Moses and also their ancestor, King Jesus.

My first book; The Secret Dossier of a Knight Templar of the Sangreal, documents this history and would be helpful background reading if you are new to the Templars or are interested in the research I’ve uncovered/been given, in the last ten years.

Stepped curved path

Caters/ Michael Scott

This photo looks back to the entrance with curved steps going down into separate chambers for the baptismal and main altar.  The steps are a processional way of devotion leading past columns and arches.  The circular nature of the sanctuary brings to mind the round churches of Bornholm, also built by Templars.


As soon as I saw Scott’s photos of the Templar cave, I immediately searched for more information as I was flummoxed that this had been so overlooked down the centuries.  I found very little that was of help at all.

The newly edited Wiki page for the Caynton Cave disputes the Templar connection and points to a theory that it was a folly of the 19th century Legge family.

I would counter and state that the Templars have a history of worshiping in caves, such as at Ye Olde Trip in Nottingham and Royston Cave, just to start.

Most garden follies of the 18th to 20th centuries were about showing off ones wealth to friends and preferably viewable on the estate.  It was about entertaining guests, not making them scrabble about in the dirt.

The entryway of this underground Temple is hidden on purpose and requires a stooped crawl, is well away from the main house and in the middle of a field, hardly the place to drag a well-dressed party goer from London.

Rock carving is notorious to date.  Absence of modern tools is usually an indicator, but one must also keep architectural style in mind.  This underground church is familiar territory with arches, columns and a baptismal that any devout Templar would recognize.

The absence of mention in medieval records does not dismiss the Templars as its creator.  That presupposes there would be a record of the secret church.

Royston Cave in Hertfordshire was not in any archive as a Templar holding until it was discovered and its carvings identified it as such.  Some academics still dismiss it as a Templar site though all the evidence points to the Templars as its origin.

Proximity plays a vital role as evidence for Caynton as a Templar church.  Just eleven miles to the west are the ruins of Buildwas Abbey which of course was Cistercian.  Templars are Cistercians with swords.  Further west by another 13 miles is that of St. James of Cardington, a known Templar holding.

The Templars were gifted lands across the area by William FitzAlan and Herbert de Castello.  Estates in Shropshire include the above-mentioned and also Lydley, Cardington, Enchmarsh and Chatwall as well as Botville.  Further properties included Shrewsbury, Cound, Kinlet, and finally Bridgnorth. 2.

iconThe Caynton cave has all the earmarks of a church, long-disused until possibly the last two centuries as a neo druidic site.  It was shut by the owners in 2012 due to vandals; however, it has suffered damage through time as well.  The aged appearance of the stone is a clear indication of centuries of wear and tear with dulled edges having lost its original chiseled features.

If this church were a folly, there would be inconsistent behaviour of iconography.  Triple arches are used at every opportunity.  It is a religious site, not a folly trying to acquire a sense of the mystical with poor use of odd symbols. 3.

columns dotted arch

Caters/ Michael Scott

The knights went to a great deal of trouble to carve out arches within arches, giving a perspective of moving forward to spiritual culmination. A wonderful artistic touch meant to give space and depth considering how small it is.

Sacred Arches
It appears that the number of indented circles may add up to the number 33, perfect for the life of Christ.
Caters/ Michael Scott

The five arches in the photo above could be an allusion to the number of man, often depicted as a pentagram and the arches are best described by the following Biblical quote:

John 14:6 New King James Version (NKJV)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

It may be that there are 33 indented circles in the 3rd arch which is very synchronistic to Gnostic Christianity and Templarism.  Certainly this refers also to the years of Jesus…

Note the triple arches just behind the columns in the photo below.  Three is a continual reminder:arches

Caters/ Michael Scott

castelated tripple arch

Caters/ Michael Scott

Another triple archway with castellated/block carvings in the foreground above.  Clearly a medieval design motif.  The equilateral cross beyond the arches is apparent and Templar as its splayed extremity shows.  The vertical shaft is in good order but the horizontal cross bar appears damaged in the photo, but this is difficult to verify.

8843b498a11e6454155306f317b09a20The famous Cross Pattée of the Knights Templar

The below image is striking in the two different treatments of the niches. The wall niche on the centre left has the typical curve of the Gothic style which is at odds with the stronger, overt, even heavy handed baptismal font with its pointed arch, a clear triangle.   The triangle over the font is the centre piece of the small chamber.

baptismal 1

Caters/ Michael Scott

baptismal 2

Caters/ Michael Scott

It is the only arch in the structure that is this extreme in style; all the other arches are gently curved or Gothic in nature.  The baptismal font is sending a message, but what is it trying to convey?

We could be looking at a representation of the Star of David; the upward arch, symbolic of both a blade and obelisk, rising above an inverted triangle of the feminine force of water; in other words, the Chalice and the Blade.


The Star of David has long been an occult representation of opposite forces joined as one.

The triangular arch above is also in triplicate, keeping pace with the overall imagery in the cave.


The triangle is a symbol that the Freemasons inherited from the Templars, containing the letter ‘G’ which stands for the Great Architect.  Often the Triangle is depicted with the All Seeing Eye of God, ever present, supportive, wise and of course the added element of accountability.



I’ve taken the liberty of highlighting the triangles within the architecture of the baptismal, illustrating its pyramidal nature.

baptismal obelisk


The Templars had been in the Holy Land and adopted the obelisk.  They were well versed in its use in Ethiopia having spent time amongst their priests who are said to guard an Ark to this day.  Ethiopia is the oldest Christian nation in the world with ties to Egypt and Solomon.

imgresSaint Jacques de Molay

When the photos were released, first weekend in March, I could not help but ponder, ‘why now’ after 710 years of silence?  The Impetus to keep the Templar Order in the news is strong, with Easter Egg, informational gifts, sure to leave us hunting for years.

The Secret Dossier of a Knight Templar of the Sangreal, my first book, came into being due in part to my having been contacted by a modern day descendant.  He contacted me again, immediately, as the photos of the Caynton Temple were released, with assurances that it is Templar.


Garway and surrounding Templar sites verify the Caynton Caves as Templar-

I was told that Saint Jacques de Molay had visited Garway, Herefordshire (southwest of Caynton) and surrounding preceptories 723 years ago in 1294.  Synchronistically, the release of the Caynton photos corresponds with the anniversary of his murder in Paris on 18th March 1314, twenty years later.  Garway is a sacred place for modern Templars where de Molay has been remembered through the centuries.

The Templars built a round tower church at Garway, dedicated to St. Michael.  Carvings include a Templar sword, snake, fish and green man.  It is an unusual layout as there is a defensive tower that is offset and originally separated from the main building.  Typically churches are cruciform in nature or at least rectangular with a bell tower.Floor plan of Garway

Not having been to Caynton Cave Temple, I watched the video by Michael Scott several times for clues as to the layout.  Circular of course but I wondered if there was any sympathy between the odd layout of Garway church and the cave?

Video link of the Temple for your exploration:

Photo by Philip Halling
Garway_Church_-_Green_ManGarway Greenman pic by Kxjan

As Above So Below

The Caynton Temple would have been on the tour of preceptories by Jacques de Molay.  Albeit secretly.

One of the niches at Caynton Temple looks hauntingly like a man with a cloak draped over his shoulders.  He is frowning which is often a medieval religious expression, portraying devout solemnity.  The figure is clean-shaven and appears to have been damaged in time or carved rather crudely.  The Templars shaved their beards post-1314 in order to blend in with the population and hide their true identity.

de molay

Caters/ Michael Scott

If you notice the precise lines within the obelisk that run from Rosslyn, cutting through Caldbeck Cumbria, down to Newport Wales, then straight across the Atlantic to Rhodes Island, also naming the new land Newport, Sinclair built the Newport Tower, proving to the world that not only was he Precolumbian, but also the same journey had been taken by earlier Templars.


The Secret Dossier of a Knight Templar of the Sangreal is available at Barnes & Nobles online or Amazon.  Paperback or Hardback – Kindle available too!

Please use the following ISBN for your search -ISBN Colour Paperback:  9781366944788

Amazon UK     Waterstones UK

Amazon USA   Barnes & Noble USA


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Update:  Happily, the Shropshire Star has written an article on my research:

Shropshire Star

A Templar sword is discovered near the site of the Templar Caynton Cave!

Mark Lawton with Templar Knight Sword, found near Caynton Caves!

Please see the article:

4 thoughts on “The Caynton Caves Are Templar! Revealed!

  1. WOW!!!!!! I love it!!!!

    From: The Secret Dossier To: Sent: Friday, March 17, 2017 6:55 AM Subject: [New post] The Caynton Caves Are Templar! Revealed! #yiv2678621479 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv2678621479 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv2678621479 a.yiv2678621479primaryactionlink:link, #yiv2678621479 a.yiv2678621479primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv2678621479 a.yiv2678621479primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv2678621479 a.yiv2678621479primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv2678621479 | Gretchen Cornwall posted: “Tucked away in a Shropshire field outside of Shifnal, is a rabbit hole large enough for a robust, prayerful, Templar Knight to squeeze through –Photographer Michael Scott stormed the internet in early March, 2017, with his candlelit exposé of the Caynto” | |

  2. To suggest this is folly is folly itself! The history of the templars in the region, being given autonomy to police the border from the invading welsh, who regularly invaded the churches and monasteries. The relevance to their given lands being on danegeld land north of watling street. The links between the viking descendants and the templars. It all fits.

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