Sunday, 29 August 2010

Castles in the Air

A few weeks ago hubby and I met up with a friend in Edinburgh and then went down to look at Rosslyn chapel. We first visited Rosslyn before it was made famous by the Da Vinci Code movie/book. Back then it was a quiet magical place. Nowadays it's a bit too crowded for my tastes, and you're no longer allowed to take photos inside, but it still an incredible place to visit. The magic is still there... but you need to find a spot to be still in, to find it.

I've always been drawn to the land around Rosslyn. Here's the view from the back of the chapel, looking over the wall and down into the river valley below...
Before we drove down I had a look online to find out more about the area. It turns out that you can visit Rosslyn castle for free, but most people don't even know it exists. I can understand why - from the chapel and village itself there's not a sign of a castle. We had to ask for directions and were told to leave the chapel and go on past the cemetery...
The trees in the valley are so big and lush you can't see much as you walk along...
Then you turn a corner... and there it is - the ruins of Rosslyn Castle. Home of the St Clair family since 1304.
You have to cross that "drawbridge" (an arched bridge) to get to the castle. Yes, that is a house in the background. It was built in the centre of the ruins and is now available as a holiday rental. That bridge is VERY high. It's hard to get an idea how high from photos. It took hubby two photos to get from the walkway and tree tops to the ground. I joined them together...
Which also means that those trees some of the biggest I have ever seen in my life, since some of these trees rise up from that valley floor, up at least three storeys and then on more to a height of about two storeys ABOVE the walkway level! They are HUGE.
Here's a view of the walkway to the castle from within the castle walls, or at least what's left of the walls on that side...
The pinkish sandstone has eroded into the most lovely ripples over time. It's like the stones each have their own fingerprint.

You can see why the castle is barely visible from these photos below - Nature is the mistress of Rosslyn these days...



  1. Looks like a really neat place to visit, Michelle! I enjoyed seeing your photos. :)

  2. Amazing photos, Michelle! And yet, it is difficult to tell just how huge those trees were...! Lovely place explored with lovely company! :)

  3. At the base of the stone wall were several arched niches. Do you know what was in these places originally?

    Glad to see some photos not normally seen of the chapel.


  4. Daisy
    It is. What I love about the inside carvings is that there are flowers EVERYWHERE. The entire ceiling is carved with flowers. Roses, daisies and wildflowers all over the place.

    RA :-)
    It was so wonderful meeting you. XX

    I'm not sure. We wondered about it too. It's part of the castle wall, near a gate to the outside. RA's friend wondered if archers might have used the niches to stand in during battles. I really haven't a clue.

  5. wonderful tour, thanks! loved seeing the old stone....

    true of many places, yes? can't find the magic until there's a moment of stillness...

  6. Delightful photographs, Michelle.
    Thanks for the opportunity of seeing that ancient castle. I'm envious - in this neck of the woods anything built before 1900 is thought to be "historic"!

    Gorgeous colour - the pinkish stone: granite? We do have something similar in this area, but it's still in mountain form.

  7. WOWWWW!!! THANKS for the grand tour, M...FASCINATING!!! :-D LOVE all the pics and how you use some of them as your template and header. Simply lovely!!! :-D

  8. Hayden
    very true... you really need to be still to hear more, in every sense of the words.

    It was like that in Africa. Anything over 100 was OLD. It's taken me 8 years to get used to the concept that old here is waaay OLD.

    The stone is sandstone, which explains why it has eroded? Much softer than granite. I was born in granite country so it's one of the few stones I do know. The rest I ask hubby. ;-)

    Thank you! :-)) They were such pretty photos I had to try using them on my blog. I really like the shapes the background portion of trees makes. :-)