Rosslyn Chapel

In the village of Roslin, just a couple of miles south of Edinburgh's bypass, lies one of the most remarkable pieces of church architecture in Scotland. Since its construction began in 1446, Rosslyn Chapel has evoked wonder and surprise with the beauty and intricacy of its stonework.

The chapel served as a family house of worship through most of the 1500s, though the St Clair's continued Catholicism after the Reformation in 1560 led to considerable tensions with the Kirk. The altars were finally destroyed in August 1592 and the chapel fell into disuse. During their attack on nearby Rosslyn Castle in 1650, Cromwell's troops used the chapel as stables, but left it otherwise unharmed. Restoration was begun by James St Clair in 1736, who reglazed the windows and made the building weatherproof once more. More repairs followed through the 1800s, and in 1861 the 3rd Earl of Rosslyn restarted Sunday services at the chapel. The baptistry and organ loft were added to the west end in 1881.


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