Human remains reburied at Rosslyn

The historic Rosslyn Chapel
The historic Rosslyn Chapel

Human remains, which were uncovered inside Rosslyn Chapel during recent conservation work, have been reinterred in the chapel grounds.

Skeletal remains were uncovered when the heating system was being renewed. Remains of three skeletons were exposed. A number of discrete ground impacts were also monitored in the chapel precinct and a small amount of disturbed bone was recovered.

Radiocarbon dating of two adult skeletons indicated that the burials dated to the mid-15th century. The skeletal remains suggest both were male.

At least one of the individuals had undertaken heavy or repetitive physical activity.

The archaeology and analysis were managed on behalf of Rosslyn Chapel Trust by AOC Archaeology group, based in Loanhead. Archaeologists prepared the bones for reburial in accordance with guidelines set by Historic Environment Scotland.

Lindsay Dunbar, Fieldwork Project Manager with AOC Archaeology Group, said: “The discovery of both disturbed and in situ burials was especially exciting given the limited amount of excavation necessary within the chapel to complete the conservation works. Whilst it is unlikely that the burials represent the clergy it is clear that to occupy such a space within such a small chapel means that these burials are of people important to the chapel.”