A new fully-illustrated hardback book about Rosslyn Chapel, written by The Earl and Countess of Rosslyn, is now on sale.
The book, published by Scala Arts and Heritage Publishers in association with Rosslyn Chapel Trust, is a personal account of a family chapel which has become a national treasure, now attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year. It is beautifully illustrated with specially commissioned photography and comprises 152 pages.
The book tells the story of the Midlothian Chapel, which was founded in 1446 by Sir William St Clair, 11th Baron of Rosslyn and 3rd St Clair Prince of Orkney. It traces the story of the St Clair family, from their arrival in the area in the eleventh century, and describes their role in conserving and protecting the Chapel over centuries. The Chapel is often described as a ‘Bible in Stone’ and the book includes many of the carvings which have Biblical meanings, as well as other stone carvings which celebrate nature and demonstrate wonderful medieval craftsmanship. The book also describes and illustrates how the Chapel and nearby Rosslyn Castle became popular haunts for artists in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the story comes up-to-date with details of the recent major conservation project, which ended in 2013.
Writing in the book, Lord and Lady Rosslyn said: ‘Since the St Clairs came to live here in the eleventh century, each generation of our family has witnessed a different episode in the history of Rosslyn, its buildings landscape and cultural heritage. We have played a part in the story of the last 40 years – and it has been an exhilarating, though occasionally precarious, undertaking. When we first came to Rosslyn together in the 1970s, the castle was an uninhabited ruin and few people were interested in visiting a cold, damp chapel as it was then. Following the publication of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code in 2003, visitor numbers soared to an astonishing 170,000, where, thanks to a newly conserved chapel and enhanced visitor experience, they remain.’
Ian Gardner, Director of Rosslyn Chapel Trust, said: ‘We are indebted to the authors for freely giving up so much time to research and write this wonderful book. It will be the ultimate souvenir of a visit and essential reading for everyone who wishes to explore this intriguing chapel further.’
Rosslyn Chapel, by The Earl and Countess of Rosslyn, is now on sale at £25 through the website shop and each purchase supports the conservation work of Rosslyn Chapel Trust. The majority of the photography is by Peter Smith, of Newbery Smith Photography, and the book has been designed by Robert Dalrymple.