Rosslyn Chapel

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Rosslyn Chapel is situated in the Village of Roslin in the east of central Scotland, 7 miles south of Edinburgh.

Roslin is popular for Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin Castle, and Roslin Glen Country Park. The Chapel is open for visits almost every day of the year. Postcode: EH25 9PU . Chapel Website.

Chapel Map 47 Large Images
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See also a large Click On Map for the area Top Attractions.

The image top is of the Rosslyn Chapel Visitor Centre from the two large car parks.

The second image is of the interior of the visitor centre with a cafe, shop, and museum.

Rosslyn Chapel was built in 1446 for William Sinclair.

The Crypt of Rosslyn Chapel is believed to be the oldest part of the Chapel, where some claim the Knights Templar hid their Treasure in the 1300s, including the Holy Grail, a cup that provides eternal youth.

Down behind the Chapel is an old Cemetery and Roslin Castle, part ruin, part still in use as a holiday home.

Roslin Glen Country Park is down past the Castle via a riverside walk, or drive around to the main south entrance.

The centre of Roslin is about half of a mile north of Rosslyn Chapel.

Rosslyn Chapel History

1100s? - St Clair's from Saint-Clair in Normandy, France, travel to England with William the Conqueror. They later move north to Scotland, where they become a prominent Clan.

1300s - the earliest parts of Roslin Castle were built for the Sinclair family, Earls of Caithness, and Barons of Roslin.

1300s early - the Knights Templar were being persecuted in France by King Philip IV and the Pope. Some are said to have escaped by boat to Scotland, taking with them Treasure they had acquired in the Middle East, including the Holy Grail. Some Historians claim they visited the St Clair's at Roslin.

Robert the Bruce was fighting at that time to become King of Scotland, leading to him being excommunicated by the Pope. This is why many people believe the Templar's traveled to Scotland, as Scotland was then not under the influence of the Pope.

Some people even claim it was the sight of these Templar's at the Battle of Bannockburn, alongside The Bruce, that led to the English fleeing, although this claim has never been verified.

1446 - Rosslyn Chapel was built for William Sinclair, 1st Earl of Caithness, under the original name - Collegiate Chapel of St Matthew.

1544 - Roslin Castle was damaged by fire when the Earl of Hertford's army attacked during the War of the Rough Wooing. A time when Henry the VIII of England wanted Mary Queen of Scots to mary his son, to unite Scotland and England. The Castle was rebuilt soon after.

1560 - the Scottish Reformation made Catholic worship in Scotland illegal. The Sinclair's however, as with many others, continued to be Catholics in secrete, although Rosslyn Chapel was closed to the public at that time.

1650 - Roslin Castle was damaged during the English Civil War, as many Scots backed the Royals, leading to the Parliamentarians invading Scotland.

1688 - Roslin Castle was again damaged during the Reformation, a time when the remaining Catholic's were being pressured to adopt Protestantism.

1861 - Rosslyn Chapel was re-opened to the public as a place of worship, as a Scottish Episcopal Church.

1890 - Francis Robert St Clair-Erskine, fourth Earl of Rosslyn died. He was credited with restoring Rosslyn Chapel. His grave is next to the Chapel, easily found with its large red sandstone Memorial.

1982 to 1988 - the east range of Roslin Castle was restored for the 7th Earl of Rosslyn, a descendant of the Sinclairs. That part of the Castle is now leased as holiday accommodation.

1980s - Rosslyn Chapel became a place of interest for people searching for the Knights Templar Treasure, including the Holy Grail.

2003 - Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code sees Rosslyn Chapel searched for information on the Nights Templar Treasure.

2006 - a film based on Brown's novel was made starring Tom Hanks, name the The Da Vinci Code, with part of the film shot at Rosslyn Chapel.

Today - The owner of the Chapel is Peter St Clair-Erskine, 7th Earl of Rosslyn.

Strange Rosslyn, Fact or Fiction -

There is an ornate pillar in the Chapel named the Apprentice Pillar. The master mason returned to the building of Rosslyn Chapel to find an Apprentice had completed the column by himself. In a fit of anger, the master mason struck the apprentice on the head with his mallet, killing him.

There are over 110 carvings of Green Men throughout the chapel, carvings of human faces with greenery around them, even growing out of their mouths.

Carvings also seem to show corn or maize that was unknown in Europe at the time of Rosslyn Chapel's construction.

Henry I Sinclair, Earl of Orkney, is claimed to have traveled to the Americas well before Columbus.

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