On last night’s episode of The Curse of Oak Island, the team headed to England to investigate the links between Templar knights and Oak Island, and the expedition did not disappoint.
The guys found themselves examining the mysterious carvings of a secret chamber in an old English town before heading to the UK’s national archives to look over ancient documents.
All of which pointed tantalizingly in the direction of Oak Island.
As reported in the episode’s preview, members of the Oak Island team had been persuaded by Templar knight expert and author Gretchen Cornwall to travel to Royston Cave in England, where they would find a secret chamber that could prove the medieval knights had traveled to Oak Island seven centuries ago.
Marty and Alex Lagina were chosen to investigate, as they were considered the most skeptical about the Templar knight connections. Historian Charles Barkhouse also tagged along to offer his expert opinion.
At the Royston Cave, Gretchen brought several carvings to the guys’ attention, but only one really stood out. It featured an engraving of a Christ-like figure on a cross that looked remarkably similar to the famous lead cross uncovered by Gary Drayton at Smith’s Cove in 2017.
Royston Cave carving mirrored Oak Island lead cross
Analysis of the lead cross has led the team to believe it originates from southern France, dates as far back as 1200 AD, and may belong to the Templars.
And the carving at Royston Cave resembled the lead cross quite closely, especially when comparing the leftward head tilt of the crucified figure featured on both. Also, the right arm of the cross on the carving and the lead cross are both shorter than the other arm.
Alex also noticed the similarity between this carving and the ones found in the ancient Templar prison in Domme, France. The guys visited this prison in 2018 and learned that Templars had carved crosses into the walls while awaiting trial in 1307.
Gretchen also pointed them to a date carved into the stone that read “1347,” which was particularly intriguing because that is the same date written on Zena Halpern’s map of Oak Island, which she believed was created by Templar knights.
Gretchen claimed this was proof the Templars had traveled to Oak Island that year and that this carving commemorated that voyage.
So, were Marty and Alex cured of their Templar skepticism? Well, not quite, but they are certainly intrigued enough to believe it warrants further investigation.
Oak Island team examines the UK national archives for clues to the mystery
Marty, Alex, and Charles weren’t quite finished with England; they then headed to the UK’s national archives in London, where they found some very interesting documents relating to Duc d’Anville and his expedition to Nova Scotia in 1746.
The rather grandly named Admiral Jean-Baptiste Louis Frédéric de La Rochefoucauld de Roye, Duc d’Anville, was the leader of an expedition that made war against the British in an attempt to bring the eastern Canadian seaboard under French control.
The Oak Island team has long theorized that Duc d’Anville may have buried treasure on Oak Island. And now they saw British Navy documents that placed the Frenchman in the area of Oak Island months before his supposed first visit to the area.
This means that Duc d’Anville could have visited Oak Island on more than one occasion and might have known the area better than the guys had realized. Perfect for hiding treasure, perhaps.
The Curse of Oak Island airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on History.