following appears in the Daily Telegraph, 22nd July 2000:
"Masonic Lodge's Secret Scroll "is £8 million
treasure" by Thomas Harding
A secret scroll which has been hanging in a Masonic Lodge in the
Orkney Islands for almost three centuries is thought to be one
of the most significant recent finds in Britain.
The Kirkwall Scroll, depicting secrets of the Knights Templar,
has been carbon dated to the 15th Century, greatly increasing
The Masonic Lodge in Orkney was unaware it possessed a priceless
medieval treasure, thinking it was from the 18th Century.
Andrew Sinclair, a Cambridge History Don claims that the little
known Kirkwall Scroll, which he says could be worth £8 million,
is second in value only to the famous 13th Century Mapa Mundi
which hangs in Hereford Cathedral, and was valued at £7 million
by Sothebys in 1989.
Mr Sinclair, who heard about the Scroll while researching the
history St Clair Earls of Orkney, said "Its significance is
immense. This will demand the rewriting of Scots medieval
Mr Sinclair, a descendant of the St Clairs, was allowed access
to the Scroll and took a piece of it a away for carbon testing.
The 18 foot sailcloth hanging is said to contain ancient
Freemason and Templar symbols of great significance, including
clues for the trail to the Holy Grail.
Parts of the scroll date from the 18th and early 19th Centuries.
The St Clair Earls of Orkney have been strongly associated with
the legendary Knights Templar and secret orders.
Mr Sinclair said the Kirkwall Scroll is unique in that it proves
how the ancient knowledge amassed by the Knights Templar during
the Crusades has been passed on into Freemasonry by the St
Clairs, to safeguard it.
But Mr Sinclair's proposal to remove it for safekeeping has
incensed the Freemasons.
"Anything is priceless if you've got a market for it, so
his sensation-making claims of it being worth millions mean
nothing," said a spokesman.
"It is priceless to us and we have safeguarded it well for
more than two and a half centuries."
"No-one can have access without special permission and it
is protected from the light, so we would urge "Leave well
Lodge Kirkwall Kilwinning 38.2: Lodge Souviner's