Scotland Trip: Part 6

Back to Scotland Trip 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009 (Rosslyn Chapel)

Today, we are off to Roslin, to visit Rosslyn Chapel.
A little about it: Rosslyn chapel’s construction began in 1446 and even today evokes wonder and curiosity with its intricate design and extravagance stoneworks. It has a very rich history and I much enjoyed this visit as well as the passion and dedication of the people taking care of it.

Do visit their website and check out the History section here at Rosslynchapel.org.uk or the Rosslyn Chapel Timeline.
It also had very influential visitors such as Mary Queen of Scots, Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth II as well as the poet Robert Burns visiting the area.

The use of the chapel as a location in “The Da Vinci Code” movie greatly increased the number of visitors to this village and chapel and this in turn helped with its restoration cost as well as donations and grants.

Unfortunately, we are unable to take photographs indoors but I did buy a postcard so will scan that as soon as I can. You can see from the photos that the entire outside chapel is covered. This is to protect the roof from further damage from the elements and also while it is being restored.

Here is another link for more info on the Chapel where you can see more pictures.

“The Apprentice Pillar”

“One element (of the chapel) particularly stands out. At the meeting of the South Aisle and the Lady Chapel is the stunningly carved pillar known as the apprentice pillar. It is said that the master mason was instructed by Sir William St Clair to build a pillar to match a drawing he had provided. The master mason went to Italy to study the original, and in his absence an apprentice (inspired by a dream) produced the magnificent pillar on view today. The story does not have a happy ending: the master mason was so consumed with envy on his return that he killed the apprentice with a blow from his mallet. The mason and the apprentice are believed to have inspired two of the gargoyles in the chapel…”

source from: http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/roslin/rosslynchapel/

“Ears of Corn”

“…If Rosslyn Chapel’s sheer beauty has served to attract visitors from around the world, so has the aura of mystery and legend that surrounds it. One popular story is that Sir William St Clair’s grandfather, Henry Sinclair, was part of an expedition which reached Nova Scotia in 1398, and this is supported by carvings in the chapel of Indian corn (Maize), unknown in Europe at the time of its building.” (as America was discovered by Columbus in 1492, almost 50 years after Rosslyn Chapel was built and corn was not cultivated in Europe for quite some time afterwards).

source from: http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/roslin/rosslynchapel/

“Templar and Masonic connections”

It is also featured in speculative theories regarding Freemasonry and The Knights Templar.

“Green Men”

Another notable feature of Rosslyn’s architecture is the presence of ‘Green Men’. These are carvings of human faces with greenery all around them, often growing out of their mouths. They are commonly thought to be a symbol of rebirth or fertility, pre-Christian in origin.

source from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosslyn_Chapel


After our wonderful visit of the chapel we are off for a mini trek around the Roslin castle area and follow a path in the woods along a small river.
Roslin Castle, is a partially ruined castle near the village of Roslin. It is located around 9 miles south of Edinburgh, on the north bank of the North Esk only a few hundred metres from the famous Rosslyn Chapel.

A few more photo ops then we leave Roslin and its mystical surroundings …

We are meeting with a friend of Chris in Linlithgow (this is also the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots), and stop at his restaurant “Epulum” for a late lunch (excellent food too!). Afterwards we walk a bit around the town and see the Linlithgow Palace, where of course, I take more pictures. It is a very charming town (ie. I am inspired to paint!) and on my next Scotland visit would spend a bit more time here.
In early evening we return to Edinburgh to attend another great Fringe comedy show and then finally stop to eat at a nice Turkish restaurant.

The next morning, we are leaving our Edinburgh apartment and are off to Manchester where our trip together ends. but not for me, I am continuing on my travels…

I am off to Nice, France in the morning of the 24th for a nice long relaxing week before I return to Scotland for another 2 weeks of fun exploring more of the beauty of Scotland.

Many thanks to Chris and Cheryl for making this part of my trip very memorable, for sharing laughs and being the best travel buddies!

Here are some photos of Roslyn Chapel and our day trip

Scotland Trip 09 – Part 6: Rosslyn Chapel

Take a break (you are halfway there) then continue on with… Scotland Trip: Part 7

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