While Matt was here we visited one of the castles nearby that used to be a preceptory of the Knights Templar. The Knights Templar were much more than a military organization – they were also a multi-national financial institution, and probably invented the idea of checking. Back in the 1100’s, before you left on a trip to see the Holy Land you could deposit money at your local Templar preceptory and they would issue you a traveller’s check that you could cash at other preceptories or at Templar headquarters in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, even though Matt is heading to the Holy Land, our local preceptory doesn’t seem to offer these services anymore. It actually looks a bit run down these days: