Rosslyn Chapel: A Treasure in Stone: Art historian Helen Rosslyn, whose husband’s ancestor built the chapel over 500 years ago, is the guide on a journey of discovery around this perfect gem of a building – Rosslyn Chapel.
Extraordinary carvings of green men, inverted angels and mysterious masonic marks beg the questions of where these images come from and who were the stonemasons that created them? Helen’s search leads her across Scotland and to Normandy in search of the creators of this medieval masterpiece.
The exquisite Rosslyn Chapel is a masterpiece in stone. It used to be one of Scotland’s best-kept secrets, but it became world-famous when it was featured in Dan Brown’s the Da Vinci Code.
Rosslyn Chapel: A Treasure in Stone
Formally known as the Collegiate Chapel of St Matthew, is a 15th-century chapel located in the village of Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland. Rosslyn Chapel was founded on a small hill above Roslin Glen as a Catholic collegiate church in the mid-15th century. The chapel was founded by William Sinclair, 1st Earl of Caithness of the Scoto-Norman Sinclair family. Rosslyn Chapel is the third Sinclair place of worship at Roslin, the first being in Roslin Castle and the second in what is now Roslin Cemetery.
Sinclair founded the college to celebrate the Divine Office throughout the day and night, and also to celebrate Masses for all the faithful departed, including the deceased members of the Sinclair family. During this period, the rich heritage of plainsong or polyphony were used to enrich the singing of the liturgy. Sinclair provided an endowment to pay for the support of the priests and choristers in perpetuity. The priests also had parochial responsibilities.
After the Scottish Reformation (1560), Roman Catholic worship in the chapel was brought to an end. The Sinclair family continued to be Roman Catholics until the early 18th century. From that time, the chapel was closed to public worship until 1861. It was re-opened as a place of worship according to the rites of the Scottish Episcopal Church, a member church of the Anglican Communion.