Bottesford Preceptory

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A small stone building with wrought iron gates against a long stone wall.  Huge yew trees overhang the wall, and a straggly bit of ivy clings to theside of the well house
St. John's Well
The Victorian well house over the medieval well[1]
A shallow depression in the grass with a stone lined pit in the centre. It is surrounded by railings with a small interpretation board next to the gate. Behind the shallow depression is an earth bank, and behind that a row of recent houses. A large leafless tree is on the left
The Templar's Bath
The dipping well[1]

Bottesford Preceptory was sited at Bottesford, just to the south of Scunthorpe, in Lindsey, England. It was on low-lying land, near the Bottesford Beck, about 3 miles (5 km) to the west of the escarpment of the Lincoln Cliff limestone upland, and about the same distance to the east of the River Trent. A preceptory was a community of the Knights Templar who lived on one of that order's estates in the charge of its preceptor. A preceptory also referred to the estate and its buildings. The present Bottesford Manor is believed to have been the gatehouse to the preceptory.

Templars Bath, a spring in the field behind Bottesford Manor, is now hardly discernible, being simply a gathering of stones.[1] The bath has been attributed to the Romans but others believe it was a dipping bath or well used by the Templar workers. It was once used as a "magic" health-giving spring. Travellers would drink its waters and leave cloth offerings (a "rag well"). This healing property was probably associated with its position near a Templar hospital. The only distinctive Templar artefact found here was an ancient gravestone with a large cross upon it. It was covering a body buried in a grave that had been placed at the angle formed by the north wall of the chancel and the east wall of the north transept, though this description is inconsistent with a normal Templar round church.

Archaeologists excavated the Templar fields nearby in 1983, but little was found and the land was back-filled.

Lincolnshire preceptories[edit]

Until their disbandment in 1312, the Knights Templar were major landowners on the higher lands of Lincolnshire, where they had a number of preceptories on property which provided income, while Temple Bruer was an estate on the Lincoln Heath, believed to have been used also for military training.[2] The preceptories from which the Lincolnshire properties were managed were:[3]


  1. ^ a b c Historic England. "St John's well (and the dipping well) (60786)". PastScape. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Ward, Penny. Dennis Mills (2nd ed.), ed. The Knights Templar in Kesteven (2 ed.). Heckington: Heritage Lincolnshire Publications. ISBN 978-0-948639-47-0. 
  3. ^ Page, William, ed. (1906). A History of the County of Lincoln. Victoria County History. 2. pp. 210–213 'Houses of Knights Templars: Willoughton, Eagle, Aslackby, South Witham and Temple Bruer'. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 

Coordinates: 53°33′04″N 0°38′46″W / 53.55106°N 0.64606°W / 53.55106; -0.64606