Slavin P (2013) Landed estates of the Knights Templar in England and Wales and their management in the early fourteenth century. Journal of Historical Geography, 42, pp. 36-49. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhg.2013.05.004
The present paper looks at the main contours and strategies of agricultural management of landed estates of the Knights Templar on the eve of the suppression of the order in 1308 and managerial changes undertaken by royal keepers between 1308 and 1314. It appears that it was arguably the single largest estate in the entire country, and one of the most important producers of wool and dairy products. Sheer wealth, however, came at the expense of various managerial difficulties, which prevented the demesnes from being administered efficiency. When the Templar demesnes were confiscated by Edward II, their management was entrusted to his keepers. A close analysis of the available evidence suggests that while the new managers did their best to increase the immediate cash profits from the former Templar demesnes by adjusting their structures and patterns to the annually changing economic reality, they also committed a long-term waste of the estate. When the Knights Hospitallers received most ex-Templar demesnes in the 1320s and early 1330s, the former were undoubtedly in a ruinous state.
Late-medieval England; Agriculture; Templars
Journal of Historical Geography: Volume 42