Although the Chapel is known throughout the world, the Trust is keen to play an increasingly active role in the local community.
The connection between the Chapel and the village stretches back to the time of Sir Henry St Clair, who succeeded to the title around 1153 and died around 1214. The village is spelt ‘Roslin’ while the Chapel, Castle and Earldom are ‘Rosslyn’; in both cases, the name is derived from two Celtic words Ross (a rocky promontory) and Lynn (a waterfall). Both are features of the river scenery below the Chapel.
Rosslyn Chapel Trust employs 19 people, both on a full-time and part-time basis, throughout the year, with 70% of staff members living in Midlothian. Extra staff are usually taken on over the busy summer months at the Chapel. The Trust works in partnership with Loanhead-based company Saltire Hospitality who manage daytime and evening catering in the visitor centre.
Where possible, the Trust selects local or Scottish suppliers for the gift shop and engages a number of small local businesses for maintenance and repairs.
Developing links with the community
Rosslyn Chapel Trust has developed a number of initiatives to support the local community. Residents in the EH25 postcode area can apply for a pass which provides free admission to the Chapel and visitor centre for a year and can then be renewed. In recent years, fundraising concerts have been held to support Roslin Primary School, the Friends of Roslin Glen and local charities including the Roslin and Bilston First Responders to purchase a public access defibrilator, Friends of Saltersgate School, Roslin Heritage Society and Midlothian Foodbank.
The Trust works very closely with the staff and pupils at Roslin Primary School and with local organisations, such as The Boys Brigade and Guides, providing visits which connect with their activities.
The Roslin Heritage Society holds its monthly meetings in the Visitor Centre. You can find out more about the group, and their programme of talks, on their Facebook page – Roslin Heritage Society
The Chapel is used for significant local events, such as a ‘thank you’ evening for Midlothian’s Girl Guide leaders (October 2023), an evening visit to mark 50 years of twinning between Midlothian and Kreis Heinsberg, in Germany (November 2023) and the presentation of Midlothian’s Young People Awards – see MYPA (November 2022 and 2023). In December 2023, the Chapel was the destination for the Roslin and Loanhead Rotary Club Christmas Torchlit Procession (see image above), which attracted 140 local children!
Ian Gardner, Director, was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant (DL) by His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Midlothian in 2016.
Rosslyn Chapel Trust encourages visits to other attractions in Midlothian through its website, leaflet display and recommendations by staff and is closely involved with the Midlothian Tourism Forum. You can find out about other places to visits and places to stay at the Forum’s website – Midlothian Tourism Forum