A hoard of weapons, helmets and chalices believed to have been owned by the Knights Templar will be unveiled this month.
Known as the Tomar Hoard, the collection is thought to have been amassed by the Catholic military order, famed for their exploits in The Crusades, between the 12th and 14th centuries.
Its current owner, Hamilton White, spent years assembling the scattered pieces from the initial 1960 discovery in Tomar, Portugal, the site of a major Knights Templar stronghold.
White’s research led him to retrace routes taken by Otto Rahn, an archaeologist who found favour with Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Nazi SS, during the Second World War.
Five items from the collection will feature in the docu-series Lost Relics Of The Knights Templar, hosted by Dan Jones.
Each of the episodes will focus on a different relic, such as a helmet once owned by Himmler and a sword carried by a Templar Grand Master who died at the Siege of Acre in 1291.
Restorer Jonathan Tokeley-Parry, who spent several years examining the hoard, said: “Nothing I have seen has cast any doubts on the authenticity or importance of the hoard.”
Historian and TV presenter Jones was enlisted to provide background on the Knights Templars’ story.
He said: “The Templars were one of the most famous, and notorious, organisations in western history.
“They emerged from The Crusades and amassed huge wealth and property across Europe.
“When they were attacked between 1307 and 1312 most of their legacy in terms of objects and riches were either stolen or destroyed.
“Hamilton has some intriguing finds and it’s going to be exciting to see what else he discovers.”
Lost Relics Of The Knights Templar starts on HISTORY on Monday April 13 at 9pm