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TEMPLE BRUER

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A preceptory of the Knights Templars was established at Bruer circa 1150 and richly endowed by a number of people, and an adjoining settlement was also created. A survey of Templars estates in 1185 gave a separate section to Bruer, treating it as a full manor; 37 tenants inhabiting 34 crofts were mentioned. There was also a weekly market. The preceptory passed to the Knights Hospitallers following supression of the Templars in 1312, becoming one of their richest houses; it was dissolved 1540-1. When Leland visited the site in 1538-9 he saw 'great and vaste Buildings, but an engraving of 1726 shows the ruins of the circular church. Today the only standing remains are a tower, formerly part of the church, local tradition recounting that Cromwell shelled the buildings during the Civil War. Excavations on the site were first conducted in 1833-4, and further work in 1908 revealed a walled precinct occupying most of the field to the west of the church, where building foundations have been encountered subsequently. Cropmarks of the precinct and buildings, together with the former settlement lying to the south east are visible on air photographs. A field system to the south west may be associated.

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