I am appearing as a contributor on the new Discovery channel history investigation series Rob Riggle Global Investigator presented by Mr Riggle – who you will have seen previously on Saturday Night Live and the Daily Show as well as several comedy movies.
He brings his comedic talents, military background and ability to connect with TV audiences to this new fun history series. I was honoured to be asked to appear with Rob on his special investigation into the Holy Grail.
We filmed at Kilwinning Abbey – a Scottish ruined medieval structure. It has an amazing history. The church most likely started out as the modest dwelling of one or more monks who had come to convert the area to Christianity. One theory is that the original missionaries came from Ireland – which is highly plausible. There are strong cultural and ethnic ties between Ireland and Scotland. Take it from me – I’m half Irish!
The abbey fell foul of the Protestant Reformation – hence its current lamentable condition. The town enthusiastically embraced the new Protestant religion and still does to the present day – though with unfortunate consequences. It has both a strong Freemason and Orange Order presence.
The Masons claim direct descent from those stonecutters who built the abbey. But that doesn’t mean they have any empathy towards the Catholic religion to which their ancestors adhered. The town boasts a number of Orange Order lodges – I saw two. And Kilwinning had a reputation – even in Scotland – for being rather hostile to Catholics. There’s one story – reported in The Herald newspaper – that somebody was barred from entry to a pub for having a green car. Green being the colour of Irish (Catholic) Republicanism.
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But back to the Knights Templar. Some believe that when the Templars fled the wrath of the King of France – they ended up in Scotland with their treasure. So we went hunting to see what we could find! There are reputedly secret tunnels under Kilwinning – one of them leading from my hotel. But for some curious reason, the hotel owner has built a toilet over the tunnel entrance. I have no idea why!
Anyway – enjoy!! And tune into Rob Riggle Global Investigator!