In Search of History (the Knights Templar and William Wallace)

This morning, we climbed on an early bus and headed out to Roslin. We went to the upper deck of the bus and were lucky enough to get seats in the front row, right up against the window. It gave us a whole new view of the city as we drove by and great views along the way. It was also a wee bit terrifying sitting there, watching pedestrians jaywalk at varying speeds (usually leisurely) and cars pull out in front of the bus. I decided that being a bus driver in Edinburgh was probably one of the most stressful jobs in the world.

Arriving in Roslin, we made our way down the road to Rosslyn Chapel. Steve has long been interested in myths and legends, including tales of the masons and the Knights Templar (preceding by many years the success of The Da Vinci Code), so this was a must see for him.

Roslyn Chapel

Steve & Anne at Roslyn Chapel

While we do understand that the chapel is a working part of the community, we were disappointed to find we couldn’t take photos inside. The reason given was that it would be disruptive to other visitors. It seemed to me that the vast majority of visitors were there hoping to take photographs. An easy solution, if they wanted one, would be to designate a couple of hours each day as the time that photography was allowed. Photographers could plan their trip appropriately (and be out of luck if not) and those who would be disturbed by it could avoid that time. It also seems like it would be a great way to raise the funds they need for their continuing restoration efforts to charge a small additional fee for people who want to take pictures, just as they do as St. Giles Cathedral, another working church.

Ah well, just my suggestions. We enjoyed exploring the interior of the chapel anyway, and were able to take plenty of pictures of the exterior.

Roslyn Chapel

Roslyn Chapel

Roslyn Chapel

We also met William, the resident cat, who makes appearances to uninterestedly accept the ministrations of the crowd. I find it appropriate that Steve didn’t sneak any pictures of the chapel interior, but he couldn’t resist sneaking a photo of William, who was dosing in the chapel at the time.

William, the Roslyn Chapel cat

After taking our time at the chapel, we walked down to the remaining ruins of Rosslyn Castle. The main house was renovated in the 1980s and is now a bed and breakfast, but the ruins of the old gatehouse and portions of the keep walls remain.

Rosslyn Castle

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From there, we took the path under the bridge’s arch to walk through Roslin Glen.

path to Roslin Glen

It was a beautiful walk along the river and through the glen, and it was nice to get into some greenery after spending a few days in Edinburgh.

We were looking for Wallace’s Cave, which was supposedly used by William Wallace at the time of the Battle of Rosslyn, which took place nearby in 1303. The path was on the other side of the river from the cave, but we should have been able to see it. I am quite certain that we made it to the cave, and probably walked by it a few times as we scanned the overgrown cliff face on the opposite side, but we never did see the entrance.

We did see the Bronze Age rock carvings, though. See the right-hand side cave indentation.

Roslin Glen

It was still a very enjoyable walk and a nice way to end our visit to Roslin.

Roslin Glen

Roslin Glen

Roslin Glen

path to Roslin Glen