Rosslyn Chapel has stood on its exposed site for well over 550 years – a tribute to the skills and craftsmanship of its original builders. The single most important factor contributing to that survival has been the fact that none of the original construction used timber – everything was built and carved in stone. Nevertheless, centuries of sitting exposed to the Scottish weather on the edge of a hill has had an impact and it was recognised by the Trust many years ago that repair and conservation work was essential to ensure the long term integrity of the building and its survival throughout another century and beyond.
In the late 1990s it was resolved that the cold, damp interior of the Chapel – a situation which had prevailed for centuries – must be addressed. The stone was saturated resulting in heavy algae growth within the Chapel, the underside of the nave roof being green rather than stone-coloured. The original stone had become porous and saturated, the rainwater disposal system was ineffective (and indeed contributing positively to the saturation) and there was no effective heating in the building.