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Stunning 800-year-old carvings inside a Knights Templar cave are being destroyed by water damage.
English Heritage has added the Royston Cave in Hertfordshire to its Risk Register because of holes appearing within the ancient artwork.
Carvings - Pictures - Patron - Saints - Scenes
The mystical carvings appear to show pictures of four patron saints as well as scenes with John the Baptist and Mary, the mother of Jesus.
The ancient cave was once used by the Order of the Knights Templar that fought in the Crusades and were made famous by the popular Dan Brown book The Da Vinci Code.
Book - Templars - Find - Holy - Grail
In the book, the Templars find and hide the Holy Grail somewhere in the UK.
The cave was dug into the chalk bedrock under the Hertfordshire town of Royston, which sits close to the Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire border.
Cave - Parts - Parts - Feet - Across
The cave has cylindrical lower parts topped with bell-shaped upper parts totalling 17 feet (5.2m) across and 25.5 feet (7.8m) high, and lies on the junction of a Roman road.
The cave was rediscovered by accident in 1742 when workmen were working on the streets above.
Range - Carvings - Symbols - Pagan
It contains an extensive range of mystical carvings as well as symbols believed to be Pagan.
Cave manager Nicky Paton says he believes that only positives can come out of the new 'risk' status as it will bring about the needed conservation to protect the carvings.
'I - Everyone - Thing
He said: 'I'm assuring everyone this is not a bad thing.
'There can only be positives that come out of here because it is a call to action.
Change - Conservation - Place
'Hopefully the needed change, the needed conservation will take place.'
One of the carvings shows two figures close together near a damaged section of wall. This was once a Templar symbol that showed two knights riding a horse.
Carvings - Chalk - Cave - Saints
The carvings found in the chalk cave also include four saints.
The patron saint of travellers St Christopher was found below the original entrance of...
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