Book a place in local history

The Earl and Countess of Rosslyn, pictured with their book outside the chapel.
The Earl and Countess of Rosslyn, pictured with their book outside the chapel.

A new fully-illustrated hardback book about Rosslyn Chapel written by The Earl and Countess of Rosslyn has gone on sale.

The book, published by Scala Arts and Heritage Publishers in association with Rosslyn Chapel Trust, is a personal account of a family chapel now attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year.

The book tells the story of the chapel, which was founded in 1446 by Sir William St Clair. It traces the story of the family, from their arrival in the area in the 11th century, and describes their role in conserving and protecting the chapel over the centuries.

Writing in the book, Lord and Lady Rosslyn said: “Since the St Clairs came to live here in the 11th century, each generation of our family has witnessed a different episode in the history of Rosslyn, its buildings, landscape and cultural heritage. We have played a part in the story of the last 40 years – and it has been an exhilarating, though occasionally precarious, undertaking.

“When we first came to Rosslyn together in the 1970s, the castle was an uninhabited ruin and few people were interested in visiting a cold, damp chapel as it was then.

“Following the publication of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code in 2003, visitor numbers soared to an astonishing 170,000, where, thanks to a newly conserved chapel and enhanced visitor experience, they remain.”

The book also describes and illustrates how the chapel and nearby Rosslyn Castle became popular haunts for artists in the 18th and 19th centuries, and the story comes up-to-date with details of the recent major conservation project, which ended in 2013

Ian Gardner, director of the Rosslyn Chapel Trust, said: ‘We are indebted to the authors for freely giving up so much time to research and write this wonderful book.

“It will be the ultimate souvenir of a visit and essential reading for everyone who wishes to explore this intriguing chapel further.’

The book costs £25, on sale at the chapel and its website, and each purchase supports Rosslyn Chapel Trust