Sunday, March 9, 2014

Scotland Sundays: Rosslyn Chapel

One of my favourite chapels in Scotland lies just 40 minutes outside of Edinburgh city centre.  Surrounded by intrigue (home of the holy grail? history of Knights Templar? murder? ghosts?) and recently made famous by a certain novel (which has allowed for some fantastic restoration work), Rosslyn Chapel has it all.

It's one of the most ornately carved chapels, both inside and out.  I love the gargoyles that flank the entrance.  They seem much more ominous in the winter time when the sky is overcast.

I wore my me-made 1940 McCall hooded dress, with my Ness beret and wellies.  It seemed a perfect pop of colour for such a grey day!

Here are some pictures of the inside of the chapel and all the amazing carvings:

The famous 'green man' carving:

Everywhere you look, there is a surprise:

The legend has it that there was a master stonemason who was carving the pillars of the chapel.  He decided to travel abroad to get inspiration and materials, leaving his apprentice in charge.  The apprentice, who was just a wee lad, had a dream about an ornately carved pillar.  When he awoke, he set out to replicate what he saw in his dream resulting in the most talked about set of carvings of the time period.  When the stonemason returned, he became enraged and jealous that his apprentice outshined him and legend has it, he murdered the apprentice in the chapel. 

The apprentice pillar:

Many people believe that the holy grail at one point resided in the chapel and that many other Knights Templar treasures may still exist somewhere within the chapel walls. 

Building on the chapel begun in 1446 and it has remained in the possession of the same family for its entire history (the St. Claire family).

The side of the chapel, with it's beautifully carved window:

There are a few gravestones and memorials in the chapel yard:

Overall, a fabulous (but windy) day, which caught me by surprise more than once! hahahaha

Blowy2 on Make A Gif

Have you been to Rosslyn Chapel?  Do you love mysterious stories from historic monuments?


  1. Looks wonderful - I'd love to go someday. Cute gif!

  2. Oh wow! What a gorgeous chapel!

    And your dress is perfect to brighten up the day. LOL re: the wind!

  3. Despite living not particularly far from it I've never been to Rosslyn! Your pics make it look beautiful though. Love that dress.

  4. Wow! How lovely! I always get really excited when I see a Scotland Sundays post pop up in my reader!

  5. If I ever have the chance to visit Scotland again Rosslyn Chapel is on the list of must see places. :)

  6. I am ashamed to admit I have never been! It looks great though! Must add to our to do list!

  7. Haha I adore your last animated photo - so fun!!

  8. YAY! We did make it there Debi, on our way out of Edinburgh up to Inverness. So glad we did as it was beautiful :)

  9. Breathtaking!!! We just don't really have architecture like this in the US and I'm always astounded to see such beautiful photos pop up online. *sigh* Someday I must see these places for myself. So, so beautiful. Awesome boots, too!

  10. Aside from the dress (which I love) I really like the historical detail/anecdotes in these posts! Interestingly there is a similar pillar in the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand in London. These were built during a period of minimalist Victorian Gothic architecture, but the builders had to bring in German masons who weren't familiar with this movement (and presumably there may have been a language issue too), so one of the otherwise completely plain pillars was carved with a similar design to the one above before anyone noticed and stopped them! (The RCJ is normally open to public cases permitting, so if you are ever passing through the Strand you could take a look).

  11. Found your blog excessively interesting indeed. I really enjoyed studying

  12. LOVE the action shot. So cute. Your posts make me want to travel there!

  13. What a great read- I have just discovered your blog thanks to my friend Janet W. She said I would like it, and she was right. I am envious of your hat.


I read each and every comment--thank you so much!

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