St Clair connection
Rosslyn Chapel was founded by Sir William St Clair in 1446 although the family’s connection with this part of Scotland extends back further to 1070.
The family are descendants of Rognvald ‘the Mighty’, Jarl of Orkney and Romsdahal in Norway, who was born in 835AD. His son, Rollo, signed a peace treaty in 912 with King Charles of France in the town of St Clair-sur-Epte, from where the family takes its name.
The family was given land in Scotland by King Malcolm Canmore and the barony of Rosslyn was established. Throughout the generations, the family a strong presence in Orkney, Caithness and Fife and a number of castles were built for them, or acquired by them, in those areas.
The Chapel continues to be owned by the family and, today many people across the world bearing the surname of St Clair, or Sinclair, come together in the activities of the Clan.