The South Lincolnshire village of Saracen’s Head has one of the most unusual names in the UK. Its name supplies images of a village named during the Crusades as celebration of the victories expected in distance lands.
The name also holds different connotations when used in conjunction with the Knights Templars. The Templars were believed to be worshippers of a mysterious head, depending on which researcher you believe, it could be the head of John the Baptist or a head to represent the ancient god, Baphomet.
In the village are two pubs called the Saracens Head, one of the pubs is said to date back to the Crusades, although positive proof has yet to be found.
Interestingly, to the north west of the village Roman embankments and a possible camp can be found, possibly proving inhabitancy for over two thousand years.
With its links to the crusades I was obviously attracted to the village for its links to the crusades and sought to find any archeological links to the Templars. I have been unsuccessful to find any links at the moment, but I found a possible clue to the village’s name.
Using the excellent online service Old Maps (old-maps.co.uk) I found a map of the village dating from the mid 19th century. To my surprise, Saracen’s Head village was literally the shape of a Saracen’s Head (see above)
Utilising Multimap.com, I was able to find a recent map, and aerial photograph of Saracen’s Head. Had industrialisation and the building of the major A17 road wiped clear any proof of the “head”? The aerial photograph clearly showed that the head still existed, although the A17 cuts through the top right of the head. (see below)
So who created the Saracen’s Head – The Templars or Lincolnshire villagers about to embark on one of the crusades?