History enthusiast David Adkins has made the astonishing claim that the long lost treasure of the Knights Templar is located beneath a medieval mansion in the English countryside. The Ark of the Covenant and Holy Grail are allegedly in a vast subterranean cavern deep below Sinai House in the British Midlands.
The tabloid newspaper – the Daily Star – ran a front page story – see below. It called on Indiana Jones to give the managers of Sinai House a call as they’d clearly found the fabled riches of the Knights Templar. Other newspapers were gripped by the story in July 2021 so let’s investigate further…
So what should we make of this claim?
Well, it’s certainly attracted a lot of press attention in the United Kingdom – locally and nationally. Adkins, who until recently was the manager of a local community centre in the town of Burton, is clearly immersed in the history of the area. This includes an imposing timber manor house called Sinai Park House.
Let’s look at that property’s history first. The official website states that its location was “vital for the Romans” with views over the Staffordshire countryside and the river Trent. Its importance may even pre-date the Romans as Sinai sits on top of a “chalybeate” spring. That is a spring with a high iron content, similar to other sacred wells such as Glastonbury and Bath.
Sinai House and a Templar connection?
The original Sinai House was built by the De Scobenhal family in the 13th century but only the moat survives from that building. That noble family would indeed have been contemporaries of the Knights Templar – an order of holy warriors founded in 1118 and crushed in the year 1307. But did they have any formal connection? And did they bury the Templar treasure under Sinai House?
The De Scobenhals handed over their property – for whatever reason – to the monks of Burton Abbey. By all accounts, this was a particularly badly run and corrupt Benedictine institution. Though very powerful in Burton. The monks turned Sinai House into a kind of convalescence retreat for people recovering from excessive blood letting. Remember that was a standard ‘cure’ for many ailments in the medieval period.
Adkins argues that it’s significant that the monks took over Sinai House just as the Knights Templar were looking for somewhere to hide their treasure – including the Ark of the Covenant and Holy Grail. So – I’m assuming – we’re being asked to believe that the Benedictines helped the Templars hide the Ark of the Covenant and Holy Grail.
That would certainly be unusual. Because a medieval monastery that found itself in possession of the Holy Grail would be far more likely to broadcast the fact far and wide to attract countless pilgrims. But Adkins argues that the abbot of Burton Abbey was a “notorious non-conformist and had little loyalty to the Pope or Rome”. In one media article, Adkins was quoted as saying the abbot was a “non-nationalist” but I’m going to assume he said non-conformist.
The Paget connection to the Templar mystery
When the Protestant Reformation led to monasteries being forcibly shut down under the Tudor monarchs – Sinai House became the property of Sir William Paget (1506-1563). He was one of those sure footed Tudor operators who managed to survive Henry VIII, Edward VI and “Bloody” Mary Tudor – serving all of them. The house you see today was largely constructed by the Paget family in the 16th century.
Adkins argues that Paget was a descendant of Hugh de Payens – first Grand Master of the Knights Templar. Paget being a corruption of Payens. You can probably guess the thread of the theory from here. Paget had an inkling – or maybe definite knowledge – that the treasure was hidden below Sinai House and now had a perfect state-sponsored excuse to smash up the abbey and have a good dig around.
Of course, there are plenty of examples of Tudor nobles buying up shut down abbeys and monasteries during the Protestant Reformation and using the brickwork to build new mansions. But Adkins doesn’t think Paget was engaged in just the usual greedy land grab.
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A subterranean world under Sinai House – and lots of Templar activity!
Which brings us to a fantastic claim by Adkins that there’s a cave under Sinai House into which Westminster Abbey could comfortably sit.
This space is allegedly a result of glacial erosion in the area during the last Ice Age. So, Adkins argues, the Templars – keen lovers of tunnels – stuck the treasure into this cave located conveniently in the centre of England thereby, he continues, difficult for foreign armies (like those that might be sent by the Pope or King of France to reach.
Adkins and others claim the underground spaces have long been bricked up and that attempts in the 1800s to break into them resulted in the release of toxic fumes.
The skull called Greta
Adkins has form when it comes to discovering lost ancient artefacts. He previously attracted media coverage after announcing he’d found a lost ten thousand year old skull nicknamed ‘Greta’. This was a skull said to be ten thousand years old dug up in the 1940s in Burton that then went inexplicably missing. Until Adkins came along and found it in a local potteries museum.