Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Myth & Mystery !!
Now that we have finished the unpacking and have got more used to our wonderful new home we have come to realise something very odd about it !
We have noticed that the wall between the cellar and the stairs is three times as thick as the same wall on the ground floor, why ?? Also, when you walk on a certain stone in the Guard Room there is a hollow ring, again, why ?? We are hoping to find someone with suitable land X-ray equipment to help us investigate this latest mystery at "Templars" !
Could it be a secret passage ? Could it be the lost Treasure of the Knights Templar ? Could it be a tomb of one of the Commanders ? Could it hold old documents ? Could it be nothing at all ??
We will keep you posted !!
We have had a lot of visitors who have been very interested in the property and its history and have been very kind with their comments about the work we have done so far, thank you very much indeed !!
They have also asked about the famous "Roche Blanche" of St Paul la Roche. I have done some research and have found that it was a lump of white quartz ( the purest in the world no less !!) of which traces of equal purity have only been found in a small area in Africa. This quartz is "cleeved" and has been the subject of scientific investigations since the 1930's. These include detailed studies and visits by the Mineralogical Society, The 3rd International Congress and Symposium of the International Union of Crystallography in 1954 and numerous visits over many years by Francois Kraut (1907 - 1983), Philippe Lambert, and the latest to date by Claudia Trepmann in 2006.
The lump of quartz was between 40m and 50m high with a circumference of approx 600m !!
The white quartz is simply Cristalline Silicon Dioxide ( Si02 ) the most common element on the planet from which all quartz is made. The differences between the different quartz are due to mineral deposits, heat, weather and position. Diamonds, amythests and aquamarines are all quartz to name but a few. The Greeks called it "Frozen Light", "Snow Quartz" or "Ice of Eternity" as they thought it was formed by severe cold, hence the Greek name meaning "frozen ice".
The White Quartz is also pyroelectric and piezoelectric which means its polarity changes with heat and pressure, even holding a piece in your hand will do it !
The quartz is "cleeved" as a result of great heat or shock. This has now been proven by scientists after decades of debate as the area had been hit by meteorites millenia ago and the argument raged over whether the quartz was from outer space and landed here or was here already and was hit by the meteorite. It has now been proven that the quartz was already here and was forced out of the ground by natural tectonic movement, the meteorite landings near by where just a coincidence. "Cleeved" means that the quartz delaminates into very fine slices rather like slate and the lines are visible to the naked eye, further rare examples have now been found in Angola.
So much for the facts ! Now the "Myth and Mystery" !!
Legend has it that the quartz was on part of the land donated to the Knights Templar in the 12th Century and that they raised a large wooden cross on the top as a guide for travellers and pilgrims. Buried in the huge lump of quartz were found Knights Templar, perhaps a final resting place for the Commanders of the Commandery ? No trace of these bodies remains, the last having been used in the local school for the children to study the human skeleton !
Even after the Knights Templar had left St Paul la Roche the local people would climb on top of the great rock after the religious processions to mark the Feast Day of St Paul (29th June) and the Rogation Days and attend Mass around the great cross. These hark back to earlier pagan customs as the inhabitants had always viewed the great lump of white quartz as a symbol of purity and divinity. Even in the 19th Century young maidens would attach a pin to the cross in the hope that a young man would take it and claim its owner as his bride or rub themselves against it to become pregnant within the year !!
Sadly this is all folklore now. The great lump of quartz which was still a local landmark in the 1900's ( and is seen on local postcards, towering next to the village and church) has all but gone. A few chunks and a great hole in the ground is all that is left. The purity of the quartz was its undoing. It was used in Limoges in the making of the finest porcelain and had a number of industrial and electricial uses. As demand increased the methods of extraction increased also, from manual labour to dynamite !
Upon blasting the quartz one day they discovered a natural "pyramid" shaped lump which a lot of people would have liked to have kept as a souvenir of the "Roche Blanche". Sadly, that too has gone the way of the rest as NASA had need of the quartz for the optical lenses in its space telescopes and for the heat resistant tiles for the Apollo Missions and the Space Shuttle !!
The other question raised is "What properties does the quartz have ?"
Again, after extensive research, I have found that the white quartz is a general conducteur of energies to help with meditation and that it can receive and transmit cosmic energies and be used to enhance the powers of other stones and crystals for healing etc. It is connected to the Archangel Rafeal and concentrates and clarifies the mind and with its natural prismatic effect can help with the seven Chakras and activate all levels of conciousness. It is all a question of belief and faith.
Did the pagans worship it ? Did the Knights Templar consider it a beacon of purity and divinity or something more than that ? Why did they pave the cellar floor with white quartz blocks ? Then there are the tales of Ley Lines running through the area, do they run through the "Roche Blanche" ??!! So many questions, so many theories, so many choices; we will never fully understand !
The white quartz has also been found in some Medieval graves in Ireland and in some graves in England and Wales ( Kellington Church, Whithorn etc.). Were the stones put their as a symbol of purity and devotion or to help the soul of the departed into the next life ? Did the stones come from here, via the international network of the Knights Templar ?? The Museum of Cultural History of the University of Oslo has a gold ring with a piece of white quartz in it found in the tomb of Prince Witzlau (13th Century), again, did the stone come from St Paul ??
So many questions !!!
All we know is that it is a fascinating subject with so many different points of view and directions to explore !