Did the Knights Templar really visit Westford, MA in 1398?

Well, did they?

Also, I live near Westford…can someone tell me where the stone that displays the carving is?

Yes and no.

I know plenty of old people in Westford, MA and they told me that they don’t recall seeing any knights before 1950 or so (although those were probably the Knights of Columbus). I would guess not.

I went to a party there just last week and there was a distinctive absence of any absence of ancient remnants. If they ever came, I would suspect that they would stay much closer to the coast of Massachusetts.

I know Westford pretty well and I have never heard this type of rumor. I suspect your query is related to this mailbag article which shows it is false:


Westford was not even founded in 1398.

Ok, I’ll get more specific…

Prince Henry Sinclair is supposed to have travelled to the area, with some Knights Templar. One of them died, and was buried near Prospect Hill. There is a stone carving there, I’ve done a little webhunting & I’ve found it’s off of Depot Road. It’s known as the Westford Knight, and supposedly it’s been verified as authentic. I’m going to take a trip there soon to check it out, there is also a stone plaque nearby commemorating Sinclair’s visit & telling the story. I’ve seen quite a few websites, and it appears legit, but I though I’d ask the Dopers, as the net can be a tricky place.

Don’t be too disappointed.

My friend Doug Weller has something to say about the Westford Knight" here:

The likeness to a knight (notice the lack of photos, but surplus of drawings, of the memorial on the net?) is in the eye of the beholder.

Well, I have heard this story before, but it is a ‘fringe’ theory
here is a link
but take it with a pinch of sodium chloride…
America was a veritable crossroads if you belive all the stories…

(chinese, africans, irish, welsh, romans, egyptians…)
however the Vikings definitely did get there, and even had a bishop of Greenland, but don’t believe the stories about Viking gravestones in New England either- these are all fakes

See, now THAT’S why I asked the Dopers. Thanks people.

On the Westford Knight, see Frederick Pohl’s book Prince Henry Sinclair or Charles Michael Boland’s They All Discovered America. Pohl is not the same Frederick Pohl who is a noted science fiction writer. He has written long and lovingly about pre-Columbian voyages. Although he strives mightily to persuade you that Sinclair and his men visited Massachusetts in 1398, he ultimately fails to convince me.

One point that I will give to the pro-Sinclairists is this – the article published by the Massachusetts Archaeological Society claims that the carving on the Westford Rock is a tomahawk. I’ve been to the stone, and done rubbings of the surface. There are a lot more artificial marks (all of the round punch marks) than the official paper admits to. On the other hand, even the pro-Sinclairists acknowledge that a lot of the image of the knight is due to natural markings on the stone (glacial grooves, inclusions, etc.) Pohl claims that the artists skillfully incorporated such natural marks into his design. But it could also be self-deception. Pohl’s sketch of the Westford Knight is more accurate than that of Boland, who has clearly gone off in flights of fancy.