Mysterious discovery in village churchyard resembles Da Vinci Code plot

Researcher Edward Spencer Dyas found three 800-year-old forgotten tombs belonging to members of the ancient Christian order in a village churchyard in 2021 – and has now discovered five more.

The Knights Templar were a wealthy, powerful and mysterious military organisation of devout Christians in the medieval era, formed in 1119 and tasked with providing safety for pilgrims to Jerusalem.

Mr Dyas found the graves at St Mary’s Church in Enville, Staffs.

Each features a Templar cross within double circles in a standard design for the order. He believes the building could be one of the most important Templar churches in the country thanks to its links to William Marshal.

The 1st Earl of Pembroke is considered the most famous Templar and is often dubbed “England’s greatest knight” of the Middle Ages.

And in scenes which could be from the best-selling Dan Brown book, his team were also permitted entry to the church crypt as part of their research.

In the novel – and 2006 film starring Tom Hanks – a professor delves beneath Rosslyn Chapel, in Scotland, in the hunt for Knights Templar treasure.

But rather than searching for the Holy Grail, Mr Dyas is trying to shed more light on the quaint church’s links to the mysterious order.

He believes Enville, due to its close links with Marshal, is now “one of the most nationally important churches”.

But, he said, there is a mystery around “why the Templars were secretly so prominent there”.

Mr Dyas added: “In Vatican archives there is a catalogue of all Templar graves. So one day someone may discover who the Templars interned at Enville actually were.”

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