St Michael's, Garway

Garway is one of only six churches in England built by the Knights Templar. Apart from the Temple in London, itself heavily restored after damage in the Blitz, Garway is the most substantial remains of a Templar church extant in England. The original nave would have been round but sadly there are only traces of this because, after the suppression of the Templars in 1307, in common with most of their property, Garway passed to the Knights of St John (the Hospitallers) in 1326. They replaced the nave with a more conventional rectangular one during the 15c.  The most exciting remaining feature is the tower which dates from the 1180 when the Templar church was built to replace what was believed to be a wooden church dating back to as early as 600AD. Many English church towers have been made to look “fortified” by the addition of pseudo-battlements and there are plenty of places where the towers clearly had secondary military functionality, but the tower at Garway was originally separate from the rest of the church and designed for defensive purposes.   The Norman chancel arch with zig-zag moulding. This is of three orders. The outer order is the traditional Norman chevron, the inner made with surprisingly Moorish-style voussoirs (wedge-shaped stones). This Oriental-style design was a result of the Templar contact with Eastern design and architectural style in the Holy Land.