Sunday, 2 January 2011

Rosslyn Chapel

Hi all,
Hope you had a good Christmas and the new year brings you equally good health and contentment.

In my last post about Scotland you may recall that an artist at Traquair House, suggested that if we appreciated the work of craftsmen, we ought to visit Rosslyn Chapel. It was September of 2001 and because it was before Dan Brown wrote the Da Vinci code, we hadn't heard of it and I guess most other people hadn't either.

Anyway, we were going through the list of places that we had in mind to visit whilst we were in the borders area and, during a moment of indecision, my wife suggested that we should go and have a look at the Rosslyn Chapel we'd been told about. It seemed like a good idea and we took a very pleasant drive out towards Edinburgh and only stopped once to let our dog stretch his legs. I parked the car in a layby on the side of a quiet lane and my wife and I were both taken in by a large bush that made up part of the hedge.
It was absolutely covered in tear drop shaped, red berries as you can see in the photo on the left. Now, if you've been following my tour of Scotland you will know that my wife and I love to visit gardens and, although we are not experts in all things horticultural, we can recognise most plants we see and know most of them by name.

In fact, boring as it may seem to some people, we always take a few reference books with us on holiday just in case we come across some flora or fauna we don't recognise. Anyway, we inspected the bush and even took a small cutting so that we could check it out in the reference books we'd left in our caravan at Pebbles.

Carrying on with our journey we eventually reached Rosslyn Chapel and found it was just as the man a Traquair House had described. We parked outside and had the place to ourselves, which is something I don't believe is possible since it has become the focus of so many books. I'm pleased that we discovered it before it became famous because it allowed us revel in the unique atmosphere that such places seem to generate.
I'm not particularly religious and neither is my wife, but there is something about churches and chapels that makes one feel very peaceful. Rosslyn Chapel was only small, but it seemed to have more carved stone work than some cathedrals we'd seen. The photo on the right is The Apprentice Pillar, which according to legend, was so well carved by the apprentice, that the master mason murdered him in a fit of jealousy.

Having been stunned by Rosslyn, we spent the afternoon touring the lovely countryside and called in at the little border town of Biggar, before returning to Peebles for the night

Back at the caravan we studied our books, but could not find any reference to the beautiful bush we'd seen. We had worked out that it was a type of berberis,but could not find the type. We would have to wait until we got home and maybe it would prove to be a worthy challenge for the Internet. I will tell you if we found out what it was in my next Scotland post. Meanwhile, if you have any ideas about the bush I'd be pleased to hear you suggestions. If you would just like to find out more about me, my books or writing services, Please click here.

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