New app reveals Rosslyn Chapel’s secrets

Roslin Primary School pupils Ross Kay and Sarah MacEwan are first to try out Rosslyn Chapel's new app.
Roslin Primary School pupils Ross Kay and Sarah MacEwan are first to try out Rosslyn Chapel's new app.

It’s one of Scotland’s most spellbinding buildings which could secretly house the location of the holy grail.

And now, fans of the Da Vinci Code can crack the mystery of Rosslyn Chapel thanks to a new app delving into its hidden past.

Fans of the Dan Brown novel will be able to take a virtual tour of the chapel, including an in-depth look at its unique stone carvings.

The app allows users to journey through the cryptic stonework of the chapel with a virtual tour, 360-degree panoramic photography and unique animations showing how the medieval building was constructed.

Available on both Apple and Android devices, the app, developed for the Rosslyn Chapel Trust by the Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation (CDDV), uses high-resolution laser scans of the 15th-century chapel to give users an exclusive look at its secretive halls.

Ian Gardner, director of Rosslyn Chapel Trust, said: “Rosslyn Chapel is known throughout the world for its unique architecture and this innovation means it can be appreciated by even more people all around the world.

“The app is available on most people’s phones, so there’s a much wider audience who have access to it. Hopefully, they’ll interact with the chapel in the virtual world and it will inspire them to come and visit it in real life.

“It’s really bringing Rosslyn Chapel into the 21st century.”

Originally constructed in the mid-15th century, the Chapel gained international fame as the backdrop to Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code, where it was depicted as the home of the final clue leading Professor Robert Langdon to the tomb of Mary Magdalene.

The book was later adapted into a film starring Tom Hanks in 2006, with the Chapel and the nearby Rosslyn Castle used for on-location filming.When building the app, developers were able to make use of laser scans taken by conservationists from almost a decade ago to build a more complete picture of the site.

The trust has been in place since 1995 and presided over extensive renovations to the site between 1997 and 2013, including work to the roof, stained glass windows and stone carvings.Dr Lyn Wilson, digital dcumentation manager at CDDV, added: “We started scanning the building back in 2008 for conservation purposes, so we could what effect things like erosion were having on the stonework.

“But now that the technology has caught up with what we did back then, we can start using it to give visitors a more in-depth look at the building, even adding in a 360-degree panorama to give the full experience.

“Each scan takes around three days, but we’re constantly monitoring how the chapel is being affected on a daily basis.”

The Rosslyn Chapel app is available on both Android and Apple app stores for £1.99.