Photo By Peter Watts
Rosslyn Chapel

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Panorama taken outside Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. Photography inside the chapel is not permitted. This picture shows the protective roof that was over the chapel at the time protecting the fragile stonework as it dried out and allowing access for restoration work.


Rosslyn Chapel - Roslin visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Rosslyn Chapel' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Midlothian.

Rosslyn Chapel is easily one of the most famous and popular tourist attractions in Lothian, Scotland. The chapel was meant to be part of a much larger cathedral church, built by William Sinclair, 1st Earl of Caithness. Construction of the chapel began in 1456, after the Earl had built accommodation nearby for his workers. Eventually only the Choir and retro-chapel were completed, though foundations for parts of the larger structure were laid.

Rosslyn Chapel has been made famous as a suggested resting site of the Holy Grail, and popularised by books such as 'The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail' and 'The Da Vinci Code'. The interior is highly decorated with carved sandstone, much of which has undergone extensive restoration and preservation in recent years after decades of neglect. For about 10 years, until the latter part of 2009, Rosslyn Chapel was covered with a protective roof, allowing the stonework to dry out. Until this is removed in the latter part of 2009, visitors can access the walkway around the roof and see the carving details there.

Highlights of the Rosslyn Chapel include the

  • Apprentice Pillar - named after an 18th century story in which a master mason travelled to get inspiration for the pillar. On his return he found that his apprentice had produced this unparalleled masterpiece and kills him in a fit of rage. The head of the master mason is carved forever gazing upon the object of his jealousy.
  • 'Musical' boxes carvings - 213 cubes or boxes protruding from pillars and arches with carved symbols on them. These are thought to possibly represent musical notations, but have never satisfactorily deciphered.
  • Green Men carvings - Faces surrounded by greenery. A pre-Christian symbol of rebirth and fertility. Rosslyn Chapel has the highest number of Green Men carving of any church in Scotland.
  • 'Ears of corn' carvings - Carvings that may represent ears of maize, at time unknown in Europe giving rise to a story that the St.Clairs visited the New World hundreds of years before Columbus. They could also represent ears of wheat or lilies, well known in Europe at the time.
  • Crypt - The crypt of Rosslyn Chapel was the burial place for several generations of the St. Clairs. It was sealed for many centuries and has been proposed in myth as the location of the mummified head of Jesus Christ, the Holy Grail, Knight Templar treasure and the original crown jewels of Scotland. It contains none of the above.
Rosslyn Chapel has always been a place of interest to those visiting Scotland. Interest in the chapel grew dramatically with the publication of Dan Brown's 'The Da Vinci Code' in 2004. Release of the film in 2006 increased interest further resulting in a great increase in visitor numbers.


Rosslyn Chapel Trust
Rosslyn Chapel
Chapel Loan
EH25 9PU


Bus: From Waverley Station to Original Rosslyn Hotel.
Road: Roslin is about 7 miles from the center of Edinburgh on the A701. Parking available either at Rosslyn Chapel or Roslin Glen car parks.

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