Rosslyn Chapel – Fact or Fiction?

Edinburgh has so many historic buildings and places to visit.  To make the most of your port time, it is a great start to have a game plan of what you would like to see and do when visiting.

The ships visiting Edinburgh generally dock at the Port of Leith.  From Leith’s Ocean Terminal you can jump on the number 22 bus that will take you directly onto Princes Street, the main shopping street in Edinburgh.

Rosslyn Chapel shrouded in myths and mysteries.
Rosslyn Chapel shrouded in myths and mysteries.

Visiting Rosslyn Chapel

One of my favourite places to visit, is only a stone throw’s away from Edinburgh city centre, Roslin Village.  Now famously known for Rosslyn Chapel since the launch of Dan Brown’s book The Da Vinci Code. Rosslyn Chapel is shrouded in myth, mysteries and legends.

You can easily reach Roslin with the number 15 bus directly from Princes Street.  Please allow a few hours for traveling and your visit to Roslin.

Fact or Fiction?

Rosslyn Chapel, has been linked to the Knight’s Templar, the Freemason’s and is said to house the lost Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail as well as a few more treasures beneath its grandly decorated interior.

The Chapel was first conceived and became the life long ambition of William St Clair the Earl of Caithness.  It is said that he wanted to build the chapel on his land and being a direct descendant of William de St Clair, the last Temple Grand Master of Scotland and one of the most powerful men in Scotland, to replicate the Temple of Solomon, Jerusalem.

The building of the Chapel began in 1446 and took four years to lay the foundations.  The village of Roslin was born to house the many stonemasons, carpenter’s and blacksmiths that were employed over the forty years it took, to create the masterpiece we see today.

Some of the wonders of stonemason work include the Apprentice’s Pillar and Mason’s Pillar. With decorative carvings such as the green man linked to paganism, and others linking back to Knight’s Templar and the Freemason’s.

Some of the carvings to be seen at Rosslyn Chapel.
Some of the carvings to be seen at Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel has attracted some of the worlds most creative including Wordsworth, Turner and Sir Walter Scott.

While William Wordsworth visited he wrote – In Rosslyn Chapel during a Storm;

The wind is now thy organist; a clank
(We know not whence) ministers for a bell
To mark some change of service. As the swell
Of music reached its height, and even when sank
The notes, in prelude, Roslin! to a blank
Of silence, how it thrilled thy sumptuous roof,
Pillars, and arches, not in vain time-proof,
Though Christian rites be wanting! From what bank
Came those live herbs? by what hand were they sown
Where dew falls not, where rain-drops seem unknown?
Yet in the Temple they a friendly niche
Share with their sculptured fellows, that, green-grown,
Copy their beauty more and more, and preach,
Though mute, of all things blending into one.

As well as Rosslyn chapel there is the romantic ruin of Rosslyn Castle surrounded by leafy foliage, over the River Esk. It is said that there is underground tunnels leading between the Castle and the Chapel, maybe this is where the underground crypt can be found laden with its treasure’s. There are some lovely walks leading down into a fern gully too!

Whether any of the myths and legends are true or not the Chapel is a wonder of architecture.

Roslin offers the main essentials including ATM’s, corner stores, post office and the Roseline Gallery.

Roslin Main Street.
Roslin Main Street

If you would like to stay longer and take a more leisurely visit in Roslin there is limited accommodation in Roslin available, but a much bigger choice of accommodation in Edinburgh; which is only a short drive away.  Cruising around the British Isles is a great way to see some of Scotland and its history.

Have you visited Roslin?  What did you think of its myths?  Fact or Fiction?   We would love to hear from you.  Please comment below. Thanks.

About MichelleDeansHarding


 Michelle has a love of travel and photography, which has currently taken her to six continents. Experiencing other cultures/history and food both independently and while working on-board luxury cruise ships. Discover more about Michelle, her enthusiasm for travel and photography via:

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  1. Other Things to Do in Edinburgh - Go4Travel Blog

    […] the Gilmerton Cove dates back more than 2,000 years others say 5,000 years with possible links to Rosslyn Chapel and The Knights Templar as mentioned in Dan Brown’s book, The Da Vinci Code or even said to […]


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