Rosslyn   Chapel

How to get to Rosslyn chapel

By Road from the Edinburgh bypass:  take "Straiton Junction" A701 to Penicuik/Peebles.  Follow A701 to the sign for Roslin (3 miles)  once in Roslin Village the Chapel is well sign posted.

Chapel Open Daily:

1st Apr.  to 31st Sept. - 9.30am to 6pm
1st Oct.  to 31st Mar. - 9.30am to 5pm
and on Sundays between 12.00pm and 4.45pm

Entry Prices:

Adults 7 and Concs.  6

On arriving at the village of Roslin, the Chapel grounds are well signposted.  The signs lead you to the Chapel carpark, which can become very busy indeed, however there is a further "Overspill" Carpark a few yards further up the road, so if the main park is full on your arrival, do not dispair, just move on a little.

Entry to the Chapel and ground is via a Port-a-cabin  (Hopefully a temporary arrangement)  and I would recommend you purchase the excellent Booklet produced, which will assist you on your way around the Chapel.

The booklet was written with the help of the current "Earl of Rosslyn" and contains vital history of the Sinclair family as well as clear descriptions of some of the carvings you are about to see.

Entering the Chapel, you are immeaditaly stunned into silence by the vast array of intricately carved stonework within the Chapel.  It is literaly too much for the human eye to take in, it first appears as if every square inch of the building has some sort of carving on it.  In fact there is so much to see, that you don`t seem to see anything, your eyes flit Left, Right, Up and down .. trying to absorb as much as possible, but giving you little time to focus on any certain area.

I have visited a great many historic building in my time and my pet hate is the "Tour Guide". A person employed, by the establishment, to show you what they think you want to see ... How boring!

However at Rosslyn, I fell in behind the tour that had just started and listened to the guide as he pointed out carving after carving .. and giving detailed description as required.
Facinating stuff!

The truth is the Rosslyn Chapel is too small and busy to allow you to stand alone and study the various carvings, and of course, you would have to refer to the Guide book to try and understand what you were looking at.  This is one building the the Tour guide in certainly needed.

The good thing about Rosslyn is when the guide has completed the tour, you can escape to the grounds and quietly reflect upon your first sighting of the Chapel. Take a break, rest, then enter the Chapel again, this time you see even more than you saw the first time. Amazing!

The exterior of the Chapel, can be quite disappointing, all the carved Stonework is there, but they discovered that as the Chapel had been open to the rigors of the Scottish Weather, dampness had started to effect the stonework.  So they built a metal roof over the chapel, hoping that the original stonework will dry out and restoration work completed. The good news is they also built a Catwalk around the top of the Chapel, so, providing you have no fear of heights, you can get a wonderful closeup view of the carvings on the chapel roof.
On our visit to Rosslyn Chapel, we spent almost 4 hours touring around the building, quiteamazing when you concider that it is not very big .. in fact rather small as Churches and Chapels go.

It was actually on the way home that a thought struck me ... Just how little religious carvings we had seen in the Chapel.  I mean Religious as in what you expect to see in a church ... No large statue of Christ on the Cross, No carving of a Manger.  Of course there is Religious carvings in the Chapel, but they are Small and mixed up with other symbols ... Pagen - Templar - Masonic.  My thoughts on Rosslyn Chapel is, It is a house of God, but not a house of set religion.

Rosslyn Chapel is a mysterious and fantastic place to visit.  Forget all that Da Vinci Code rubbish, but visit the Chapel and wonder at the meaning of the strange and wonderful stone carvings on display.  You will not regret it!

RIYAN Productions