If you haven’t seen this mini-TV series – make an effort to get the DVD. ‘Pillars of the Earth’ is set in the reign of King Stephen of England, a troubled monarch who was beset by a civil war. The reason was his taking of the throne of England and Normandy from the daughter of the previous king, Henry I. Matilda claimed Dad had left his throne to her but Stephen, a cousin, claimed – probably falsely – that Henry had given him the kingdom on his deathbed.
It was during Stephen’s reign that the Templars established strong roots in England centred on the ‘old’ Templar church in Holborn, London. Not the Templar church you see in London today, which is the ‘new’ church built under a later monarch – Henry II.
Stephen supported the expansion of the Templar Order, as did his successors. Though the Pillars of the Earth doesn’t mention the Templars – it’s a great introduction to the era and the casting is superb. I can’t praise it enough.