Rosslyn Chapel is famous for appearing in Hollywood blockbuster The Da Vinci Code, as the last resting place of the Holy Grail. The chapel has always been shrouded in legend, mainly concerning hidden treasure hidden within it’s grounds, clues within the ornate carvings, just waiting to be deciphered.
A new book just published claims to have found the real purpose of the 15th Century building. Following years of research the authors Alan Butler and John Ritchie came to conclusion that the chapel was built as a shrine – for the safe keeping for the skull of St Mathew. The skull had been smuggled from France for safe keeping. Religious artefacts were much sought-after, especially those with a direct link to Jesus.
The chapel is covered in amazing carvings, within these are clues to the chapel being a safe house for the skull of St Mathew. There is a beautiful ornate pillar known as The Apprentice Pillar, it has the representation of a miraculous honey laden tree that is associated with St Mathew.
In fact the whole building is designed so that honey from beehives hidden in the buttress roof dripped down onto the altar. Builders working on the Chapel had been shocked to find a 600-year-old bee hive built into the stones. “There has been so much written about Rosslyn Chapel and what the carvings mean,” says Butler. “But it does not stretch credibility that the chapel represents this story about St Mathew. Every single detail fits. “What we are saying is what is the most likely explanation. The chapel was built as a giant reliquary for the skull of St Mathew.”