Two visitors’ books, dating back nearly 110 years, have been returned to Rosslyn Chapel after being discovered in a house in Fife.
The two books, recording visitors to the Chapel from 1904, were uncovered while clearing a house in St Andrews and were handed in to Chapel staff last week. Although visits to the historic Chapel have increased in recent years, the books reveal that the Chapel appealed to visitors from all over the world in 1904, with entries from South Africa, USA, New Zealand, Canada and all across the United Kingdom.
One book records a visit made to the Chapel by Prince Arthur of Connaught, a grandson of Queen Victoria, who was in Edinburgh to open The Scottish National Exhibition in Saughton Park in May 1908. He was accompanied on his visit to the Chapel by James Gibson, then Lord Provost of Edinburgh. The book records that the Lord Provost also accompanied the Maharajah of Nepal, Sir Chandra Shum Shere, who was visiting Britain in July 1908, and came to Rosslyn Chapel on 5 July.
Ian Gardner, Director of Rosslyn Chapel Trust, said ‘We do not know why they ended up in St Andrews, but I am delighted that these historic books have been returned to Rosslyn Chapel to become part of our archive. The Chapel has welcomed visitors for generations and it is fascinating to see that it had such a wide appeal at the start of the 20th century’.