Houses of Knights Templar: Preceptory of Temple Rockley

A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1956.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


'Houses of Knights Templar: Preceptory of Temple Rockley', A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 3, (London, 1956), pp. 327-328. British History Online [accessed 24 June 2024].

. "Houses of Knights Templar: Preceptory of Temple Rockley", in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 3, (London, 1956) 327-328. British History Online, accessed June 24, 2024,

. "Houses of Knights Templar: Preceptory of Temple Rockley", A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 3, (London, 1956). 327-328. British History Online. Web. 24 June 2024,

In this section



John Marshall, ancestor of the Earls Marshall and Earls of Pembroke, gave 1 hide of land in Rockley (Ogbourne St. Andrew) to the Knights Templars in 1155-6. (fn. 1) They had already been given 2 hides in Lockeridge (West Overton) by Miles, Earl of Hereford, and other parcels were given about the same time by William Beauchamp, Richard Sokemond, and Thomas de Hacy. (fn. 2) From the terms of these gifts it is clear that the Templars had established a preceptory at Rockley during the reign of Henry II. In 1185 they also held lands in Durnford, Farley, Netheravon, and Berwick Basset, (fn. 3) and they had a royal grant of 1 mark annually, which was paid by the Sheriff of Wiltshire. (fn. 4)

A survey of the Templars' lands at Rockley and elsewhere was made in 1185. At that time their estate was valued at £3 15s. The servile customs of the manor were set out in detail. Each holder of 5 acres was bound to find one woman to milk the ewes and make cheese, also for shearing and washing the sheep. Boon-work at the harvest time and the small payments in kind to which the tenants were entitled were fully described. (fn. 5)

No single preceptor is known to us by name, nor any event in the history of the house. The Order of the Templars was suppressed in England in 1308, and in 1313 the keeper of their lands in Wiltshire was ordered to pay the Bishop of Salisbury for the maintenance of four Templars, John de Mohun, John de Egle, Robert de Hameldon, and Robert de Sautré, (fn. 6) the only Wiltshire Templars whose names survive. With other estates of the Order, Rockley passed to the Knights Hospitallers, but this Order did not establish a preceptory there. The lands at Rockley and Lockeridge were added to the holdings of the preceptory at Sandford (Oxon.). In 1338 these lands were valued at £20. There was 1 messuage in each place, pasture altogether for 1,200 sheep and other livestock, and small rents and services. The Knights maintained one chaplain, a bailiff, and a reeve. The net profits were £12. (fn. 7) After the dissolution of the Hospitallers, the manor of Rockley was granted to Sir Edward Baynton in 1541. (fn. 8)


  • 1. Records of Templars in Engl. ed. B. A. Lees (Brit. Acad.), 206; Sandford Cartulary, ed. A. M. Leys (Oxf. Rec. Soc.), no. 247.
  • 2. Sandford Cart. ed. Leys, nos. 248-52.
  • 3. Records of Templars, ed. Lees, 52-53.
  • 4. Pipe Rolls, 1159-1242 (Rec. Com. and P.R.S.), passim.
  • 5. Records of Templars, ed. Lees, 56-57.
  • 6. Cal. Close, 1307-13, 504.
  • 7. L. B. Larking, Knights Hospitallers in Engl. 1338 (Camden Soc. 1857), 187.
  • 8. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xvi, p. 278.