During the early days an opportunity arose in the ‘Valley of Visions’ initiative. Friends of Rede Common saw this as a Chance to raise the profile of Rede Common. As such they took a lead role in the creation of the Strood Community Trail. This route encouraged families to walk, explore and enjoy the many varied and wonderful aspects of our neighbourhood.
One such important landmark in Strood is Temple Manor.
The Poor Fellow Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon became known as the nights Templer. They were among the most famous of western Christian military orders and existed for about two centuries in the Middle Ages. Officially endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church around 1129 the Order became a favoured charity throughout Christendom and grew rapidly in membership and power.
The Templar Knights were distinctive in the white Mantles with the Red Cross and were among the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades. Non-fighting members managed to business of the Order and became an early form of banking. They built many fortifications across Europe and the Holy Land.
The Red Cross of the Templar Knights has been used as the logo for the Strood Community Trail. You will see it on each road sign such as the one shown in the picture below.
The Templars existence was tied closely to the crusades and when the Holy Land was lost, support for them faded. Rumours about their secret initiation ceremony created mistrust. In 1307 King Philip IV of France, who was deeply in debt to the Order, took advantage of the mistrust and many members were arrested, tortured and burnt at the stake. Pope Clement V was pressured to disband the Order in 1312. This gave rise to speculation and legends, which have kept the Templar name alive to this day.
Temple Manor in Strood is the remaining part of a much larger group of buildings where Templar Knights once stopped off for best and change of horses before they made their way to Canterbury and the coast to fight in the holy land.
The Strood Community Trail is a circular walk from Strood train station along the edge of the River Medway. It passes historic landmarks and cuts through pockets of stunning countryside nestled in the suburbs of Strood. The route is marked with signs and mosaics. The leaflet outlines the route and landmarks and history that can be discovered along the way.
The trail was officially launched on Saturday, the 11th of December 2010.
The Strood Community Trail project was a collaboration between Friends of Rede Common, Friends of Broomhill Park, Strood Community Project, St Nicholas Church, St Francis of Assisi Church, local ward councillors and Medway Highways Department.
Friends of Common want the trail to be enjoyed and preserved for public use. If you spot any issues such as moved or damaged signs or mosaics please contact Medway Council.