Rosslyn Chapel a Neolithic Site?
The site of Rosslyn Chapel is steeped in history, and is known as a place of mystery and power. But could the site be older than any of us may imagine, and actually have been a spiritual site since Paleolithic or Neolithic times? Evidence may suggest the origins could span back over 5000 years.
Just a few miles outside Edinburgh in Scotland lies Roslin Chapel ( or Rosslyn Chapel as it is sometimes referred to) ; a small Roman Catholic Collegiate Church built in the 15th Century. This ornately embellished building is known globally, thanks in part to the novel The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown; but scratching the surface reveals an architectural past steeped in myth and legend. Vaults under the chapel are said to contain the Holy Grail. The tapestry of stone carvings within the church include a mysterious mix of symbols, some christian, some pagan, faces of the Green Man, dragons, the mysticism of Freemasonry, The Knights Templars and even Hopi Mayans. The Knights Templars were said to have fled to Roslin to escape Papacy, as Scotland was one of the few places in Europe at the time which had been excommunicated by the Catholic Church.
The chapel has inspired mystics and writers for centuries. Roslin Chapel sits high on an outcrop above a deep rocky river gorge called Roslin Glen, some say powerful telluric line called the Rose line, an electrical geological fluctuation which confers power on the ground beneath.
THis is a sacred site, and we don't have to dig very far to discover some hidden and as yet unexplored secrets. Hawthornden Castle sits proudly at the entrance to the gorge, built in the 12th Century and now a private dwelling house.
Hawthornden Castle Towers Above Roslin Glen
Green Man or Fish?
Amphibian or Sumerian?
Roslin Glen Fish Carving
Beneath the feet of Rosslyn Chapel lies Roslin glen, a steep sided gorge, through which runs a briskly running crystalline river, the Esk. The gorge, or glen is heavily wooded, trees overhang the 90 foot high red sandstone vertical cliffs; their roots knotted around boulders. The gorge is clean and cool, and teems with wildlife. Roslin Glen is steeped in legend and tales of spirits and ghosts.
Within these mysterious depths there are a number of caves, decorated stone carvings, thought to be Neolithic, perhaps dating back to the times when Scotland was first inhabited- 8000 years ago. No detailed scientific survey has been done to date, although some locals know of their existence.
A little further in to the gorge, winding through the narrow muddy paths lies a large flat overhanging boulder, known locally as lover's leap. Easily seen from the path is a striking carving of a face, thought to be that of a fish or a monkey, the origin remains unclear.
It could be a carving of a "Green man" - a Druid or Celtic deity who represents the male aspect of the forest and fecundity, it also strongly resembles Sumerian and Babylonian artefacts. Or could it be reptilian in nature, and could have an unearthly history and be decended from alien creatures?
Neolithic or Beyond?
Further into the gorge, closer to the river bed are a series of caves which contains dozens of primitive carvings and marks. There are a series of spirals, concentric circles, serpihs and human forms etched into the walls of the sandstone. Surprisingly, these have never been subject to a detailed archaeological investigation, although some locals know of them as the Hawthornden carvings.. A two page report by Childe & Tayor published by The Society of Antiquities of Scotland in 1936 describe a cursory investigation, which reveals some of the details of the etchings. The authors describe triangles, an S motif, a shield and other geometic marks, and suggest that these carvings are earlier than known “cup and ring “ markings from the Iron age which are known at other sites within Scotland. They bear closer stylistic affinities to earlier Irish and Bronze Age art, dating to 3000BC, and may be from the paleolithic era. Until an archeolological investigation is comissioned we cannot be certain of the true origins or age of these mysterious carvings. In the meantime however these scribings are deteriorating, swallows and other birds are destroying the walls of the caves by pecking for minerals and nesting materials. Roslin Glen is not ready to give up her archaic secrets just yet.
5000 Years Ago
A Sacred Spot?
Could it be that our ancestors knew that Roslin Glen was a place of telluric energy, a fissure in the Earth's crust where the electromagnetic field is disrupted? Perhaps is has been used as a place of worship, of healing or magic for thousands of years before Rosslyn Chapel was built?
Did the builders of Rosslyn Chapel have knowledge that this was a place of importance, or did diviners and geomancers rediscover this for themselves in the 12th Century when choosing a sacred spot? For now the mystery remains; investigations throw up more questions than answers.
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AMAZING THINKER from Home on August 16, 2013:
I have always believed that our ancestors weren't fools, they have left us with great information which we misinterpret.
Great hub. I love reading these kind of stuff!
Tricia Mason from The English Midlands on March 15, 2012:
I hope to visit this place one day, and wish that I had known about it, when I used to visit Scotland, regularly, with my parents.
Silver Fish (author) from Edinburgh Scotland on March 12, 2012:
Thanks. nice to see you Tina.
CreateSquidoo on March 11, 2012:
The Da Vince Code is indeed a nice book for me.
Silver Fish (author) from Edinburgh Scotland on March 11, 2012:
CreateHubpages on March 11, 2012:
Christina Lornemark from Sweden on March 11, 2012:
Another interesting and a bit mysterious place near Edinburgh! Your hubs really adds to my view of Edinburgh as an interesting place. Amazing pictures and a very informative and interesting article! Voted up, shared,
johndwilliams from Essex England on March 05, 2012:
A great Hub very informative revealing much about the hidden world of Masons - cheers for sharing!
Silver Fish (author) from Edinburgh Scotland on March 03, 2012:
Judi Brown from UK on March 02, 2012:
This isn't a place I have heard of before. Really interesting and fab photos.
Voted up and interesting.