An intrepid photographer has recently gained access to the previously-sealed Caynton Caves that reside under the grounds of Caynton Hall, a site in Shropshire county, England. These man-made caves, rumored to have been built by the Knights Templar, have been carved out of the solid sandstone that lies under the countryside, and comprise a series of curved tunnels, columns and archways that give the appearance of a compact temple or cathedral, complete with niches where candles can be mounted.

The caves are situated on private land, and were sealed by its owners in 2012 after vandals had begun defacing the temple’s carvings, and also over concerns that some groups were conducting black magic rites there. The neo-Romanesque grotto has been used over the decades for secret rituals and ceremonies, but also by local youths as a drinking hideaway.

Having gained permission to access the site, Birmingham photographer Michael Scott has recently documented the site, including the production of a candlelit video that tracks the temple’s curved corridors. His recordings have been making the rounds in the media as of late, bringing newfound attention to the site.

The true mystery of Caynton Caves lies in the fact that no-one really knows who built the temple: local legend has it that underground refugees of the Order of the Knights Templar built and used the temple to avoid persecution. While the Order originally held a great deal of property in the area, they would have lost their claim following the 14th century purge of the Templars from Europe, and the family that has owned it since has had no known Templar affiliations. Other theories include the idea that the temple was built in the 19th century by the landowners themselves, simply on a lark. But in the end, the origin of the carved caverns at Caynton remain a mystery. 

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