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Knights Templar

A medieval (horse) tragedy in Shropshire

13 January 2016

Alas! In 1311-12 one of the two affers or draught animals at the Templars’ commandery at Lydley in Shropshire fell ill with quodam morbo in nervis, an unidentified disease of the sinews, or the nerves — or simply meaning that it lost all its strength. A mareschal or farrier was called in to care for it, at a cost of two shillings and 11 pence, but there was no hope: the animal died.
Its carcase was sold for seven pence, and a replacement affer was obtained from the former Templar manor of Stanton Long, so that there were still two at Lydley at the end of the year. The accounts for 1311-12 add that during the sowing the two affers and 18 oxen ate 6 and a half quarters of oats — so at Lydley the ploughing was done by both horses and oxen, and obviously two horses were needed to pull a plough.

Photo copyright Nigel Nicholson
Penkridge Hall, on the site of the former Lydley commandery

For more about Lydley, see below.


  1. james mac aonghus

    I am trying to find out more about the story behind Penkridge Hall, the house built by Rowland Whitbrooke in 1597. Apparently he was a Catholic recusant and it is said that the house had a chapel in the basement. I wonder whether there was some sort of spiritual continuity throughout the story of the place.

    • Helen Nicholson

      The only information I have on Penkridge Hall is that in the Victoria County History volumes for Shropshire, which I’m sure you have already consulted.

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