The Templar Cipher

templarflag.jpgThe Knights Templar were warrior monks. They invented a way to move money around safely. They kept the money in their castle, but gave the person a note to hand in at a castle in another country. The Knight there gave them money for the note. The Templars used encryption in their communications. The notes were therefore (possibly) encrypted so were useless if stolen. Only the Templar’s could read them.

Can you crack their cipher and decrypt this message? One way might be using frequency analysis. The most common letters in English are likely the most common in the message. Frequency analysis had been known for several hundred years before the Templars used ciphers (at least by the Arabs, though the templars weren’t exactly their friends!) Another way might be to look for cribs – what words might be included in the message?


See the solution sheet below for the solution.

If you can’t crack the code then here is the key (or see the puzzle sheet). Use it to decipher the message.

Write a message of your own in the Templar cipher.

More code cracking puzzles

This work was supported by the Institute of Coding, which is supported by the Office for Students (OfS).

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