From the 1120s until the final conquest of the city of Acre by the Mamluks in 1291, the Templars and their sister order the Hospitallers played a significant role in the crusades and in the affairs of the so-called crusader states. They held many of the most famous crusader castles, and they took care of pilgrims to the Holy Places. They were also active in the crusades in the Iberian Peninsula, and had a presence in eastern Europe during the Baltic Crusades and in the south-west of France during the Albigensian Crusade. This talk will focus on the Templars: their beginnings, their role in the crusades and the crusader states, and their final heroic defence of Acre; and consider how far the fall of Acre in 1291 contributed to the destruction of the Templars two decades later.


Helen J. Nicholson has recently retired as Professor of Medieval History at Cardiff University. She has published widely on the military orders, crusades, and various related subjects, including an edition of the Templars’ trial proceedings in Britain and Ireland (2011), and a history of Queen Sybil of Jerusalem (2022).

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Dr. Amy Hale is an Atlanta-based anthropologist and folklorist writing about esoteric history, art, culture, women and Cornwall in various combinations. Her biography of Ithell Colquhoun, Genius of the Fern Loved Gully, is available from Strange Attractor Press, and she is also the editor of the forthcoming collection Essays on Women in Western Esotericism: Beyond Seeresses and Sea Priestesses from Palgrave Macmillan. Other writings can be found at her Medium site and her website

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