2010 Journal – Chapter 30

Rosslyn Chapel

June 6, 2010 at 3:23 PM

Sunday June 6th, 2010
North Berwick, Scotland

I can’t say too much has been happening around here but I do have a few exciting notes to throw out for myself and my lovely readers.

As I said before I arrived on Thursday and was tired and absolutely sick of airports, at least I won’t
to have to deal with one for another almost two weeks.

Friday morning, a late start as it has become with me, led us on the grand adventure of, shopping at a strip mall called “The Fort Kinnaird” for a few items I needed. Also, it was Stuart’s father’s birthday so present shopping was in order. After this it was back to the house to bask in a little Scottish sun before it was all gone; the weather tends to change very drastically, very fast around here. The night was rather chill of watching movies and then bed time.

Yesterday was far more of an interesting day, involving another late start and then about an hour drive to go see one of the most unique medieval churches in existence. This chapel has in the last 6 years or so gone from about 30,000 visitors a year to at one point having 30,00 in a month. This is all because of the author Dan Brown and a little best seller called “The Da Vinci code”. This chapel goes by the name of “Rosslyn” and is in the town of “Roslin” and has to be one of the few churches with the most amount of theories about it. I really wasn’t expecting to have my breath taken away by a church, for I have seen many on this trip and to be honest most are like one another. But this, this amazing monument and curiosity was so very different and from the moment the thick damp smell of the limestone. It was like walking into a time capsule or at least the sights and smells. It was probably the most unreal moment of walking into this somewhat small testament to one mans belief system, yet maybe more? Your mind really does wander while there so that all of those theories and tale of what secrets lay hidden on the walls and potentially under them start to make sense. All of the thousands of carvings along the walls, over the windows, on the roof, and everywhere else. There is even a part over the window that is of corn or maize leading to an idea that the Knights Templar visited the United States in the 14th century and that the man that had the chapel built was possibly linked to that group in one way or another.

Other rumors include that a series of musical notes are inscribed in part of the chapel on this little blocks attached to some arch ways. The idea is that is you crack the sort of musical code and play it at the right time with the right instruments all the secrets of Rosslyn will come into full light. Well that’s the theory, a father son team has spent 20 years trying to crack this. They did record their musical interpretation and you can listen to this in the crypt but Rosslyn didn’t make more sense when I did, it was very beautiful music though.

Probably the coolest parts of the chapel were the pentagram and other carvings in the crypt, the dozens of “green men” carved into the walls upstairs. Then all the sort of peasant carvings and small details that one could spend days in intently studying every last carving. Well if not years and years studying it. I also only saw the bottom “half” really because of the restoration work taking place on the roof. They also made admission cheaper because of this.

Rosslyn was truly just a mind blowing and intently fascinating chapel with a deep, dark and beautiful history! Probably more fascinating before the Da Vunci code made it the place to go were these two columns. One of which is the “Apprentice” and the other the “Master’s” column. The “Master’s” column was done by the stone mason in charge of the entire project’s carvings and he carved the first column which is a vertical design of leaves and grooves. This master stone mason was asked to do a very intricate column that was of leaves and curves wrapping its way from bottom to top. He thought he would go to Italy to study columns in order to better attain a knowledge on how to accomplish such a feat. So he got the permission and funding to leave for four years which he did leaving his apprentice behind. The apprentice got the bright idea in his head to just do the column without any other research and he did a mighty fine job. Well when his master got back he was all but pleased and in his anger struck down the apprentice with a mallet killing him. Well the master ran off and eventually was found and hung for the murder so both men died over one column. Of course I think probably the funniest part are that they are both immortalized in the tomb with little figures about the entrance, and the apprentice has a small gash chiseled into his head from where he received that deadly blow. An amusing story to add with the splendor of the chapel!

We spent a good couple hours here, it’s not a big chapel and this included a half hour talk on the history of the chapel and why it was built etc. Our well informed speaker also touched on some more of the rumors that go with the chapel and this has to do with the large pit or tomb under the chapel, that houses the remains of many of the St. Clair family that built and own the chapel to this day. The tomb has remained closed for many years and is rumored to hold many a religious relic such as the arc of the covenant, a piece of the cross Jesus was crucified on, and possibly the holy grail. Of course I agree with the guide in that more of the mysteries of the cathedral don’t lie beneath it but rather lie in it. I think through more and more years of recording and study more and more of Rosslyn will be gin to appear.

Just this morning on a random search on the chapel for bits and pieces of more information I found an article dated in March talking about the discovery of stone bee hives. These were found in the roof and there were two one of which had no entrance hole and obviously couldn’t be used and the other had pieces of honeycomb in it! So therefore these are the first ever created stone beehives and to have them in a church is quite a novelty as well. So there you go folks this is a must see almost wonder of the world!

Another interesting spectacle about yesterday was while driving through a town called “Prestonpans” there was a gala going on. Which I need to learn more about but the gist was that a boy and girl from the city are chosen as king and queen and then march the street. If you know more about this tradition please let me know I think it’s sort of neat link between old and new.

Peace and Love,
Rebecca Robinson Green manGreen manTomb stone in the cryptTomb stone in the crypt

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