posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 05:21 AM
I was up there this summer and can tell you that the ties to Freemasonry made by some conspiracists and by "The DaVinci Code" are so tenuous, it's
hard not to believe that they came about purely because of overactive imaginations.
Although an absolutely beautiful building, I came away feeling strangely deflated. I went hoping to maybe unravel a secret but came away with the
conviction that Rosslyn does not hold any answers regarding modern day societies or hidden treasures. It is still worth a visit if you appreciate a
building with outstanding architecture though.
I saw plenty that could be tied to ancient operative masonry (who wouldn't!!) but nothing that even vaguely resembled Freemasonry as discussed on
this forum - that's if you don't count the half-assed attempt at a "Masonic Museum", which quite frankly, was a mess and seems nothing more than a
blatant attempt to cash in on the publicity recently generated by Dan Brown and Hollywood.
The famous scene depicting a "Masonic Initiation by a Knight Templar" was a massive dissapointment. The carving was so weathered, it could have been
anything. It was rather like looking at a cloud and hoping for a shape to appear. Even when the curator tried to outline the carving for me by
pointing at certain aspects of it, I still could not see what the many have claimed - it looked no more than a blob of badly formed concrete to me no
matter how hard I wanted to see. As this is one of the only (if not the only) pieces of evidence that ties the Knights Templar to Freemasonry,
I'm afraid that the theory of these two societies being connected took one massive leap backwards - rather ironic that the only piece of "concrete"
evidence should dash ones impressions rather than reinforce them!!!
That said, the architecture is pretty breathtaking. There is intricate stonework that anyone who appreciates architecture will find fascinating.
Coupled with it's idyllic setting, and it's obvious that a lot of love, care and attention was put into this building and that it deserves to be
acclaimed for this aspect alone. It's quite possible that there are codes within the architecture - there are certainly plenty of masons "marks"
dotted around the building and lots of scenes and symbols whose meanings are not immediately apparent, but most are explained and although not
mundane, they are not as "out there" as some would maybe like them or believe them to be. Four hours of close inspection certainly turned up nothing
that the conspiracy theories have claimed for Rosslin.
Rosslin attracts the publicity because of what it is - a beautiful piece of architecture in a setting where you would never expect to find it. In all
liklihood, it did have a connection with the Knights Templar but this is hardly unusual. In fact it would have been unusual for a building of that era
not to have a connection, the Knights Templar being such a major part of Scottish society back then. Most of the churches in the area contain
links to the KT - graves, carvings and architecture are not uncommon.
But that's it. I could see nothing whatsoever to tie in a modern conspiracy with either the building or the architecture - no matter how much I
wanted to nor how much I tried.
Personally, I would advise people to tread very warily around anything that will appear in the press regarding Rosslin in the near future. The
publicity that is bound to appear after the release of the "DaVinci Code" movie will probably generate many more outlandish theories - most of these
will be fueled by a wish to see something that simply isn't there.
Incidentally, if you do intend to visit the Chapel, get there soon. The DaVinci Code has generated massive interest and the masses are descending.
It's likely that the building will not be able to cope with so many visitors and it already requires extensive renovation. The white colour of the
stonework is not the original finish and was put on centuries later in the mistaken belief that it would protect the building. In fact, it is
doing the opposite and is causing rot. Eventually visitor numbers are going to have to be restricted and the building is going to have to undergo
massive repair and renovation work. Who knows what will happen then?
Also be aware that Rosslin is a working Chapel. If you're going to go, phone ahead. You won't be admitted if there is a service in progress or a
wedding taking place.