Rosslyn Chapel from the south west showing the canopy (installed by Historic Scotland), the Victorian Baptistery (or the ‘carbuncle’ as it has been described) which was added by Andrew Kerr in 1887, and the west wall. Whilst the canopy is pretty ugly and certainly detracts from the picturesque view of the chapel before the canopy was put in place it does serve a very necessary purpose – to allow the stone work to completely dry out before more extensive restoration work can be undertaken. Every cloud has a silver lining and in the case of Rosslyn Chapel that is that the canopy has a walkway which allows the visitor to view, from above, the external roof of the building. Although the canopy will remain in place for some years once it has been taken down this unique perspective will no longer be available.

In these pages we shall briefly explore some of the more interesting aspects of the chapel and illustrate that exploration with a few pertinent images.

It is not possible here to provide a comprehensive history of the chapel but we shall try to list main sources which will allow those interested in a more in depth understanding of the chapel to read further. In this regard the book Genealogie of the St Clairs of Rosslyn is probably the most important work about the chapel to be published in the last few years. Should you wish to read a review of that book please click here.