Rosslyn Chapel & Roslin Castle

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12 Responses

  1. SuzieQQQ says:

    The Hound of Roslin
    I am a resident of Roslin and am out walking in the Glen every day with my Flat Coat Retriever. The strange thing is my dog never barks!! However, on a Murky night very Misty and Dreich, I had been at the river and was on my way up the steps at the side of Roslin Castle, when my dog went crazy, he snarling and growling, Deep gutteral growl with a fixed stare at the top of the steps which lead to the path to the castle. I was extremely unnerved as my dog turned side on, as if to make himself look bigger, with a sideways glance at me standing behind him, He was guarding me, but guarding me from something I could not see! I allowed my dog to stand growling for  a few minutes, wondering what I should do. As I stood there I thought to myself, I can’t see anything, so Walk On Through! I did this, my dog still snarling and growling (very out of character) and we proceeded up the hill towards the Graveyards. Also what was unusual that night was, we never met another "Living" soul! and with all the hype from the Davinci Code No tourists "Strange" My dog continued looking behind all the way up the hill, and as we got to the graveyard I was feeling a little spooked. we sat on the wall for a moment, and I thought I would test my dog out and motioned for us to walk back down the hill. My dog dug his paws in and was Not for walking back in the direction we had just come from.! On return home, I checked the net and read about the Hound of Roslin.. I am convinced to this day, That is what he saw. Thankfully a few days later he had forgotten about the incident and we can now walk back down that path and go to the river. I believe my dog saw a ghost that night, unfortunately I didnt, but then maybe that was for the best! Or I may have screamed all the way home!!!!

  2. Daniel Parkinson says:

    Thanks Suzie, it’s great to
    Thanks Suzie, it’s great to hear of personal experiences at these sites.

  3. Mark Oxbrow says:

    Templars? Er… no
    Hi Daniel

    Great article .. except…

    the Templar bit – I’m afraid it’s completely inaccurate..   not your fault!  a horrendous amount of disinformation has been written and said about the chapel and the Sinclairs in the last few years..

    "The Prince of Orkney was undoubtedly involved in the Order of the Knights Templar, who were forcibly disbanded in 1307, although they continued on in one form or another."

    There is a contemporary primary source on the Sinclairs of Rosslyn and the Templars from 1309.. the only thing is that Henry St Clair (Sinclair) and his son Willian both testified AGAINST the Templars when they were brought to trial in Holyrood, Edinburgh, in 1309.

    There are first hand witness statements from the Sinclairs of Rosslyn CONDEMNING the Knights Templar.  The Sinclairs were not Templars. They did not shelter Templars or offer ‘refugee Templars’ a safe haven. Rosslyn Chapel does not include Templar carvings or Templar treasures…     a 20th century fantasy version of Rosslyn’s history has been promoted widely – eventually turning up in the Da Vinci Code… 

    The thing is that it isn’t history. It’s not even secret history… it’s basically 20th cent neo-templar fanstasy pseudohistory… based on discredited masonic legends, dodgy theories and unreferenced leaps of imagination..

    It’s time for the nonsense about Templars to be written out of Rosslyn’s history – it’s an insult to the memory of the real medieval St Clairs. They were Scots lords and knights – honourable men with wives and children – not secret Templars. If they were Templars then they broke every vow in the Templar rule…and betrayed the order  !!

    BTW the chapel is not modelled on Solomon’s Temple – it’s modelled on the East Quire of Glasgow Cathedral

    and – there are not carvings of cacti or indian corn in the chapel – there are trefoil wild strawberry leaves and bound sheaves of wheat from a story of Joseph..

    all the best
    mark :]

    Mark Oxbrow – co-author ‘Rosslyn and the Grail’

  4. Ian Topham says:

    Thanks for the great comments Mark, we’re happy for readers to add to these articles where they can. There seems to be a lot of  "20th cent neo-templar fanstasy pseudohistory" (great phrase) out there and it’s becoming almost like modern myth.  It was also good to have another opinion on the claims of the carved sweetcorn.  I’ll certainly check out your book 🙂

    Bests wishes

  5. Daniel Parkinson says:


    Thanks for you comments. I think if you look at a lot of myths and legends you will find inconsistencies with historical fact, as they are after all myths and legends. There are really 2 parts to the above article: a brief history, and then speculation and mythology. It is interesting to see that most of this seems to be modern in origin and shows how myths develop (and in a relatively small time scale).
    I guess I will postpone my search for the holy grail 🙂

  6. Daniel Parkinson says:

    Just as an addition I should also point out the: A word on sources and reality of Stories section of the copyright and sources regarding site articles. 

  7. steve_ash says:

    Though I agree with Daniel’s

    Though I agree with Daniels point as well as I’m a great believer in the relevance of myth. I think a lot of what passes for mainstream history still contains quite a few myths and sometimes whats’ dismissed as myth by historians turns out to be true. Alas not in the case of the Templars of Rosslyn however.


    But, what counts of course is what people believe happened, not what really did… 😉


    Its worth pointing out also that while Sinclair was a prosecution witness against the Templars, he also says good things of them, and only mentions he’s heard bad rumours about one Preceptor.

    One of the odd things I find about Bannockburn is that combatants on both sides were often actually quite closely related and even friends,  before and after, and theres a case of a tip off regarding attacks to friends on the other side in one instance! Very odd, a kind of ‘nothing personal, just war’ attitude prevailed. I’ll be covering that in more detail in my forthcoming book on the Templars and wider hidden history, Temple Garden. 

  8. steve_ash says:

    Templars and Rosslyn
    Quite right Mark, amazing how that old chestnut lingers on.

    Actually if there was anyone there remotely connected with the Templars they were fighting on the English side at Bannockburn. Coincidently  perhaps, I’ve found some of the English nobility who had Templar connections end up associated with phantom dogs (Mandeville and Bigod most notably, both of whom were Templar patrons and probably confraters, with Bigod closely associated with Black Shuck). Nefarious practices no doubt 🙂

    A lot of people even doubt the Masonic connection with Rosslyn these days, though I suspect there’s an Operant Masonic connection rather than a Speculative one. The Sinclairs (quite a villainous family I thought,as they had a reputation for exploiting their Scottish stone masons) were certainly connected with the formation of Scottish Grand Lodge however.

    Alas have yet to visit. 

  9. Ian Topham says:

    Re: Rosslyn Chapel & Roslin Castle

    The following from ‘The Haunted Homes and Family Traditions of Great Britain by John Ingram (1897) mentions the burial in armour of the St Clairs and the legend of the chapel appearing to be burning down as death omen to the family.

    The family vault of the St Clairs is beneath the pavement of the chapel, and there the barons were anciently buried in their armour, without any " useless coffin.’ – ‘ A manuscript history, quoted by Sir Walter Scott, thus alludes to a family interment in the vault at Roslin : "When my good father was buried, his (a long deceased Baron of Roslin) corpse seemed to be entire at the opening of the cave; but when they came to touch his body, it fell into dust. He was laying in his armour, with a red velvet cap on his head, on a flat stone; nothing was spoiled, except a piece of the white furring that went round the cap, and answered to the hinder part of the head. All his predecessors were buried after the same manner, in their armour; late Kosline, my good father, was the first that was buried in a coffin, against the sentiments of King James the Seventh, who was then in Scotland, and several other persons well versed in antiquity, to whom my mother would not hearken, thinking it beggarly to be buried after that manner."

    But the wierd and curious superstition which lends so much romantic interest to Roslin, and which has caused it to be a favourite theme for poets, is the belief that whenever any of the founder’s descendents are about to die the chapel appears to be on fire. Not-withstanding the fact that the last " Roslin," as he was called, died in 1778, and the estates passed into the possession of the Erskines, Earls of Rosslyn, the old tradition has not been extinguished. The manner and matter of the time-honoured legend are so well portrayed by Harold’s song in The Lay of the Last Minstrel, that it had better be quoted from here:

    O’er Roslin all that dreary night
    A wondrous blaze was seen to gleam ;
    ‘Twas broader than the watch-fire liffht.
    And redder than the bright moon-beam.

    It glared on Roslin’s castled rock,
    It ruddied all the copse-wood glen ;
    ‘T was seen from Dryden’s groves of oak,
    And seen from caverned Hawthornden.

    Seemed all on fire that chapel proud,
    Where Roslin’s chiefs uncoffin’d lie;
    Each baron, for a sable shroud,
    Sheathed in his iron panoply.

    Seemed all on fire, within, around,
    Deep sacristy and altars pale;
    Shone every pillar, foliage bound,
    And glimmered all the dead men’s mail

    Blazed battlement and pinnet high,
    Blazed every rose-carved buttress fair-
    So still they blaze when fate is nigh
    The lordly line of Hugh St. Clair.

    There are twenty of Roslin’s barons bold
    Lie buried within that proud chapelle !
    Each one that holy vault doth hold
    But the sea holds lovely Rosabelle!

  10. esther says:

    Re: The Hound of Roslin
    I too had a similar experience as a Roslin resident.My terrier stopped at the path at the back of the castle and refused to go further.With a lot of persuasion we continued our walk.Nothing was out of the ordinary and I felt a bit unnerved.
    Another time I went a summer evening walk around the outside oldest part of the castle.The path is separated by a tall beech hedge from the front of the castle.It was about 9.30pm and a lovely evening with no wind.As I was walking along the pathI heard loud crunching footsteps coming from the forecourt of the castle. I was a bit surprised as there were no cars parked in the usual space.It is let for holidays most of the year.
    The steps were loud and “echoy”on the gravel forecourt and I thought it must be a heavy person to be striding about.It was all I could do to hold my dog back from barking.I kept moving and in a couple of seconds I had a view of the area and all was still and quiet and no person to be seen.
    I realised it must be the Keeper of the Castle of times past still haunting the place.
    A couple of years later I came to work at the castle and have had several scary experiences there.

  11. BradCook says:

    Re: Rosslyn Chapel & Roslin Castle
    Regarding the knights templar activity at Rosslyn Chapel and Roslin Castle, one known knights templar site was only 6 miles from Roslin, a small village called Temple. 

    According to French legend the so called ‘Treasures’ that the templar were holding were taken from paris and brought to scotland, from France the easiest way to Temple was through the Esk river mouth, which conveniently flows not only through Roslin but a mere 330 yards from the Chapel and flows inches past the Castle.


  12. vcragain says:

    Re: Rosslyn Chapel & Roslin Castle

     Hi – I’m in here because I was searching for information about Rosslyn. I have just been reading a book called "When Scotland was Jewish" by Elisabeth Caldwell Hirschman & 
    Donald N.Yates – really, really interesting. St.Clair is claimed to be a Jewish name – lots of information in this book about the Sinclairs and the Templars era. I do not know how real the information is, but it certainly opened my eyes to the possibilities that the history as-given by the mainstream is NOT giving us the truth about who the population of Scotland is. Please check this out – I would be very interested to know if the ‘facts’ contained in this book are real. 
    I am not Scots, but just an interested enquiring mind  !