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.
Scottish Grail quest for Rob Riggle Global Investigator
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. 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!
Templars, Grail and off to Scotland!
The story behind this episode of Rob Riggle Global Investigator is that when the Knights Templar were crushed in 1307, they fled France with all their treasure. A very popular theory – though contested – has them boarding ships at the French port of La Rochelle and setting off for Scotland.
Once there, they helped Robert the Bruce defeat the English at the Battle of Bannockburn. In gratitude, the Scottish kings let the Templars hole up with the monks at Kilwinning Abbey. Over time, they blended and merged with the monks and used their skills as masons to erect a beautiful place of worship.
One local historian claims that the Grail chalice used by Jesus at the Last Supper was brought to the abbey by the Knights Templar and is hidden in a secret chamber. While another claim is that a wooden cross that once stood there included part of the True Cross – on which Jesus was crucified.
The Masonic connection
In Freemason lore, the Heredom of Kilwinning dates back to the 12th century while the Rosy Cross was a Masonic rite established after the Battle of Bannockburn. The two were merged and the clear inference is that the Templars were indeed the first Freemasons.
The Mother Lodge of Scotland – numbered as zero – is based at Kilwinning. It’s sometimes referred to as Mother Kilwinning.
There are reputedly secret tunnels under Kilwinning – one of them leading from my hotel. But for some curious reason, the hotel owner built a toilet over the tunnel entrance. She showed it to me with some trepidation. And claimed that a Catholic priest had warned her to block it (the tunnel not the toilet!) so nobody could go down. I suppose a toilet is an effective obstacle!
Anyway – enjoy!! And tune into Rob Riggle Global Investigator!