Oak Island, Royston & Domme

For those of you who follow The Curse of Oak Island on the History Chanel, you will be pondering the meaning, relevance and dating of the lead cross found at Smith’s Cove in 2017.

I have my own theories on this, of course…  But science and dating will take precedence ultimately over a theory.  I’ve also included, below, a video filmed last July 2017 on the Nolan Cross and it’s connection to the Jolly Roger.

In my prior blogs on the discoveries by the team of Oak Island, I discussed the Tree of Life, the Domme prison carvings and lightly touched on their connections to Royston Cave.

The carvings at Royston’s underground, bell-shaped cave, share an artistic resonance with the Domme graffiti by Templar prisoners, discussed in earlier blogs.  The crucifix at Domme bears an uncanny symmetry to the cross found at Smith’s Cove.

Medieval Cross Found at Smith’s Cove, Oak Island & Domme Graffiti – History Channel
Royston Christ
Crucifix Graffiti at Royston Cave by Gretchen Cornwall

Royston Cave is artificial and under an ancient Roman crossing.  Ermine Street (Roman) intersects with the far older, ceremonial Icknield Way, possibly the oldest road in ancient England.  The crossing has been a strategic meeting place for peoples through the centuries.

The Templars also had a preceptory in Baldock, North Hertfordshire 8.5 miles S.E. of Royston Cave which is due north by 55 miles from Temple Church in London which of course is on the great River Thames, leading out to the Channel to France or further destinations.

Many researchers, such as myself, identify Royston with the Templars.  The proximity of Royston and Baldock is fantastic evidence for the connection to the Templars along with the iconic carvings.  A main crossroads of great antiquity, strategy and due north of London, would have been of keen interest to the order.

The Templars were masters of the road and sea, as armed peacekeepers, they could be trusted to escort travelers and their riches, on well-traveled roads.  As bankers, one could trust the Templars to hold on account any funds deposited and retrieve it at the destination using coded receipts.


I may be wrong and the dating will clarify the age of the lead cross, found at Smith’s Cove on Oak Island, but it does appear to myself to be medieval.  I look forward to season six of The Curse of Oak Island for the dating of the cross and whether or not it is actually gold under the lead as was suggested in the Templar Knight special at the end of season five.  My own instincts are that the cross is actually lead and meant to be worn by a hard-working priest/monk.

There is a great deal of skill in the Smith Cove Cross, to give it expression.  It appears to have been created out of a mold as was the practice for the majority of crosses of the period.  Until a match can be found, it is difficult to say if this was a special one-off artisan object or mass produced?  For myself, I believe it to be singular.

Is it possible that one of the skilled Templars who worked on digging the many traps and pit of Oak Island, made the cross for himself during idle moments?  I have come to the conclusion that the Templars were the originators of the Money Pit due to the dating of the coconut fibers found on the island, as being equal to the time period of the Templars.  Perhaps the lead itself will be found to have originated from England or France which makes sense as the evidence is mounting of French and English Templars on secret missions to the New World.

It has been suggested by some that it is too large to wear, but if one studies the jewelry of the middle ages, it is a common size.  Crosses were meant to be seen by others, so that one may be identified easily as a man of the cloth or of faith.  It is actually easier to make larger bold jewelry than small.

The below images are interesting examples of lead-cast pilgrim crosses and their sizes, ranging from crude to very highly detailed.  Dating a cross of this nature is not always easy, hence the large spread of centuries in their descriptions.  The examples of what would be thought of as being Templar in origin are interesting.  The pellets have also been discussed in prior blogs and in my book.  The first explanation is that they represent the Five Wounds of Christ, however, the third cross from the left includes a total of Nine raised coins or pellets and the far right cross, likewise has six pellets.  As mentioned in prior blogs, the Medici used the raised circle in their shield.  The family were patrons of the artists behind the Italian Renaissance and keenly interested in the Art of Alchemy.

Screenshot (37)
Above images and info from:  http://www.ancientresource.com/lots/ancient_jewelry/jewelry_byzantine.html

The Smith Cove Cross is deceptively crude and simple in its casting.  The tilt of the ‘head’ gives it a fluid lifelike moment.  The raised edge down the central beam is intentional.  From the images by the History Chanel, it appears that the raised edge culminates at the base of the cross as a hand coursing downward.  Only higher resolution imaging will be able to identify the ‘hand’ properly.  It appears to be a very unique feature of the cross which I have not come across in other examples, such as those above.

I visited Royston about four years ago and took several photos.  I could not get the following image out of my head after seeing the Smith Cove Cross and decided to review my dormant photo files.

The following photo at Royston Cave is the Hand of God, releasing the Dove of the Holy Spirit.  It is actually quite long, at least 4 feet if memory serves right and hovers over several carvings of people below it.  For clarity, I cropped the figures out.

Hand of God
Hand of God, Royston Cave, by Gretchen Cornwall

I could not help but think of the above image when I saw the Smith Cove crucifix-

Smith Cove Cross
Crucifix found at Smith’s Cove, Oak Island, History Channel copyright

I don’t believe the vertical raised line, traveling from the left side of the crossbar down to the foot of the cross, is an error, but purposefully created by a skilled craftsman or blacksmith.  Without closer examination, this appears to be a hand and has a strong correlation to the Royston Cave carving.  It bears a striking similarity to the Domme Prison crucifix.

Perhaps the same artisan was later imprisoned at Domme?  Perhaps it is a memory of having visited Royston?  Perhaps the cross itself inspired the carvings at Dome and Royston, imparting secret knowledge passed down through the centuries?

But what could this imagery mean?  We often think of doves as gentle beings, but in this instance, I believe it also represents the speed of flight.  Energy…. in other traditions, the Holy Spirit is shown as a lightning strike….

…The powerful energy needed to heal and raise the dead…

In this case, the Resurrection…

The ‘T’ cross of the crucifixion is a simplified version of the Tree of Life.  A method of meditation that many people around the world identify as the anatomy of the human energy body or the soul.

Below is the Lightning Bolt of Divinity, flashing through the top of the head to the foot and revitalizing both the body and imparting greater gifts of insight and skill.

All four images were found on google.  Apologies to the artists for lack of credit.  I’d be happy to amend this if known…


The central pillar represents the spine

tree of life
Burning Bush
‘Be ye as wise as serpents’ Matthew 10:16


The above images have been simplified down to the Caduceus which is now the medical icon and has its earlier representation with Hermes the Messenger of the Gods.  The study of Comparative Religion concludes that no religion is fresh out of the ground, but is based on prior traditions with new impetus.

Caduceus – The medical staff of healing

I hope you enjoy the following video on the Nolan Cross on Oak Island and  my theory on the origins of the Jolly Roger:





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