Skip to comments.The many mysteries of Rosslyn Chapel (Another 'DNA of Jesus' story)
Posted on 11/01/2005 7:51:17 AM PST by gobucks
AS A BUILDING, Rosslyn Chapel, on the outskirts of Edinburgh, is intriguing. The exterior features Gothic gargoyles and flying buttresses, while inside there are ornate pillars, carvings and an extraordinary ceiling.
As a place of mystery, it is a magnet for those with exotic - some might say outlandish - theories.
Built in the mid-15th century by some of the best stonemasons in Europe, the chiselled scenes and symbols would have been easily understood by their medieval audience but seem baffling to us today.
The most striking example of their craft is the Apprentice Pillar, which is beautifully carved and entwined by stone coils. It symbolises the Tree of Life, with carvings snaking round from the bottom to the top. Supposedly carved by an apprentice, the master stonemason was so enraged when he saw the young man's work that he murdered him. The pillar itself has a number of outlandish theories attached to it.
The Apprentice Pillar is ornately carved One theory has it that these coiled spirals look just like our modern-day representation of the double helix of DNA. Isnt it just too coincidental that in the 15th century a young man so carved out the exact form of DNA when hundreds of years later, down the road at the Roslin Institute, Dolly the Sheep would become the worlds first animal to have their DNA cloned? Did that somebody know about DNA back then or did they supernaturally foretell the news?
Beneath the floor of Rosslyn is a massive underground vault. The chamber was sealed in 1690 and has never been reopened. Obviously, there has been a lot of speculation as to what is inside the vault.
The village of Roslin, where the chapel sits, is considered by those who believe in such things to be a "thin place", where the line between our world and other worlds is fuzzy, where the unusual is usual and the impossible is possible.
Roslin, about 20 miles south of the capital, has been part of an odd series of events over the years. A Scottish army of only 8,000 won an unlikely victory over an English army of 30,000 in the 13th century. The hamlet of Bonnybridge, about 35 miles northwest of Roslin, is a leading UFO hot spot, and people there are known to have had success in winning the lottery. And, in Roslin, in 1446 Sir William St Clair decided to build a chapel.
To understand the mysteries surrounding Rosslyn, a quick history of the Knights Templars is required. This order of warrior monks was created in 1118 to protect pilgrims on the way to and from the Holy Land. They were housed in the Temple of Solomon and soon became wealthy despite their vow of poverty. They became so influential that in 1307 Philip of France acted to destroy them. Many were burnt at the stake but some were said to have escaped and found sanctuary in Scotland.
Over the centuries many have hypothesised that the Templars were guardians of a great secret. The Ark of the Covenant or other religious relics have been suggested. According to legend, whatever the Templars knew or found sailed with the survivors of the coup and found its way to Scotland.
Among the contenders are the following:
The One True Cross The least fanciful theory is that the vaults contain the remnants of the "one true cross" upon which Jesus Christ was crucified.
Templar Treasure Read more Scotland becomes the headquarters for the Knights Templar. Another vaguely possible theory holds that when the Templar fleet escaped from La Rochelle in Western France they took with them their treasure of gold, silver and jewels. This legendary treasure also suggets a striking explanation for some of the more unlikely carvings. Botanists have confirmed that there are depictions of sweetcorn and cacti in the chapel, South American plants that were unknown in Europe at the time the chapel was built.
Sir William St Clairs grandfather, Sir Henry Sinclair, may have sailed from Orkney to America in 1398, nearly 100 years before Columbus. The reason he sailed? To take the Templar treasure from Rosslyn to the New World, where it could be buried in safety - a place that no-one would think of searching. The sweetcorn? While Sir Henry stayed in Nova Scotia building a treasure pit, some of his shipmates possibly sailed further south and brought back samples of indigenous plants.
The Holy Grail In 1962 Grail-seeker Trevor Ravenscroft claimed that a lead casket was buried in the Apprentice Pillar. This casket contained the Holy Grail itself the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper and used again at the foot of the cross to collect his blood. Buried for years under the Temple of Solomon, it was found when the Templars excavated the area and has been kept hidden ever since. Quite what Ravenscroft used for evidence that it ended up in the pillar has never really been explained. The whole notion of there being a Holy Grail is speculative in itself, never mind trying to prove that its in a pillar in Rosslyn.
Holy Scrolls In their book The Hiram Key (1996), Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas claim the pillar contains ancient scrolls that prove Jesus was a mason and the whole Masonic ritual goes back to pre-Christian times. Once again, the theory claims the Templars found this out during excavations. Once again, the evidence is lacking.
The Head of Jesus Christ Scrolls and cups are all very well, but not nearly as exciting as Dr Keith Laidlers theory. In his 1998 book The Head of God, Laidler claimed the head that the Knight Templars worshiped (sometimes called Baphomet) was actually of Jesus Christ. He writes that the head was brought out of the Holy Land and removed from France once things got too hot and, yes, hidden in the Apprentice Pillar. As they say, we will believe it when we see it.
The Blood of Jesus Christ The piece-de-résistance of Rosslyn lore is the most startling of all. Rosslyns imagery, the figures, the ceiling, the pillar, the floor, point inescapably to the real secret encoded there. We have had Jesuss blood, Jesuss head and, lo and behold, we also have Jesuss DNA. For the Holy Grail is nothing less than the bloodline of Christ. The child of the child of the child of Jesus Christ and Mary of Magdalene is alive and well and living in Rosslyn.
And before you make a fool of yourself, be warned, Jesuss ancestor is not the lady who runs the teashop round the back.
If she were Jesus' ancestor, that would mean she is more than 2000 years old.
It would be interesting to see whether these coils around the pillar do, in fact, mimic the DNA double helix. Most people think that it's two strands coiled equally around each other, which is what's most likely what this pillar looks like. But, in fact, the DNA double helix looks like what you'd get if you took a rope made of a triple strand (like a regular manila or sisal rope) and pulled one strand out, leaving the other two strands with an empty groove.
I guess that the learned and erudite author meant "descendant". I wonder what other mistakes she made in the article.
Rosslyn Chapel boasts Gothic gargoyles and flying buttresses.
OK, so why has the vault not been opened since the 1600'd?
The Apprentice Pillar is ornately carved.
Geraldo hasn't gotten around to it yet.
Hmm. I see not two strands, but four, in a fairly common but nonetheless aesthetic pattern.
Hmm. I see not two strands, but four, in a fairly common but nonetheless aesthetic pattern.
P.S. Preview is my friend. Preview is my friend.
The hat or the book? :)
I went to Rosslyn Chapel this past Spring and was amazed by the clear carved numerous representations of New World animals and crops throughout the structure. There is no mistaking the depictions. As a Ph.D. scientist, I think that does need some decent explantaion. The carvings (at least most) were not more recent restorations and those animals and plants should not have been known to the stone masons (at least based on our currently accepted view of history).
So a testable explantion is something I would certainly welcome.
We need to shed more light on this.
We welcome you to lollipop land, to lollipop land, to lollipop land...
An x-ray machine would solve the mystery. That, or a sledge hammer.
Prince Henry Sinclair (Admiral of the Seas, Lord Chief Justice of Scotland and Templar) sailed to Nova Scotia in 1398.
There were transient settlements both there and in New England - the most telling evidence of which is the Newport Tower (Rhode Island). This structure has no architectural parallel anywhere in New England, and it was constructed in keeping with the precise geometrical principles of Templar sacred architecture. It also contains a multitude of features comparable with those still existing in pre-fifteenth century buildings in Orkney and northern Scotland (for instance, the use of the "rood" measurement system).
It's hard to dismiss the evidence in favour of a Sinclair/Templar settlement in New England well before Columbus. I guess they would have had some exposure to New World animals and cacti at that time.
Fond memories of Morty the Moose.
Until this post, never heard of it.
" The Newport Tower, located in Touro Park (Newport, Rhode island) , is considered the single most enigmatic and puzzling structure to be found in the United States. Many scholars here and abroad have written extensively about its probable builders. They all agree that it was not erected by the American Indians. Its architectural characteristics indicate a style from Europe or the Near East. "
This looks to me like proof positive that Hippocrates was the founder of the Masonic Order.
There's big bucks to be made in a novelized treament of this idea!
>> Gosh, and the snakes coiled around a caduceus look just like a double DNA helix too! The foresight! The conspiracy!! <<
Two snakes forming a double helix dates back to pre-Abrahamic Sumeria!
There is a quite detailed exploration of the Newport Tower at:
If you have some time to read it all...
There is a rumor about the tower being built by the Chinese...about 100 years prior to Columbus arriving in the US. A rather difficult story to believe...but the design and effort...leave one to question all possible scenarios.
The common thread in a loose web of structures stretched across Europe, disregarded by architectural historians, is found in the polygonal, usually octagonal, arcaded open enclosures surmounted by a superstructure also round or polygonal, difficult of access and displaying local tastes in architectural style. Whether called more romantically from the Latin lavabos or just wash houses ....
But we can be sure that the trade secrets of the builders were shared. We can guess that they were also shared with their spiritual brothers, the Templars and with a legacy imparted down through the generations of initiates from Scotland to Portugal they were united in their vision.
The question remainswho built the Newport tower, when and why?
If one is to visit the structure, you may come away thinking that it could have served as a lighthouse.
I had visited Tulum on the Yucatan and was shown how fires lit in the three portals could guide a ship through a reef - if one was to head directly to shore while seeing all three. You were off course if you could see less than three at the same time. A similar edifice/purpose, perhaps?
Some people belive that the tower is somehow related to Sir James Gunn, A.K.A. "The Westford Knight".
The tower will probably remain an enigma until and unless something of unimpeachable provenance turns up.
The Pheonecians had Celts as slaves working the copper mines in the Appalachians before Christ. Maybe they know something about the Newport Tower.
Some other items of interest:
The Rhode Island Tower: Colonial Mill or Viking Lighthouse? By Paul Chapman from Ancient American Issue # 19 / 20
But in researching my book, The Norse Discovery of America, I found that Gerald Mercators map of 1569 actually indicated the Newport Tower at Narragansett Bay. Since Mercator published his map some 67 years prior to the colonial settlement, it stands to reason that the tower could not have been of colonial origin .
General alignments and dimensions of note:
The tower is a cylindrical structure with an outside diameter of 23 feet, and 24 1/2 feet in height. It has eight round columns or pillars, 7 1/2 feet high.
Columns 1 and 5 are situated in a true North-South line oriented by the North Star. Each column rests on a base with a circumference of 12 feet. The columns are connected by 8 round arches, forming an inverted U and suggesting a Romanesque style.
Above the arches are three principal windows. The first window, at 70' east northeast looks toward Easton Point and the mouth of the Sakonnet River. The second window is situated due south facing the Atlantic Ocean. The third window points west facing Newport Harbor and the entrance to Narragansett Bay.
Inside, the Tower has 7 small niches and a so-called "fireplace" built into the wall. At the top of each column on the inner side, and between the arches, there are triangular sockets which served to insert wooden beams.
As a followup.
I emailed the Chapel on why the vaults have never been opened since 1690 (in the story) and this is what I got back:
"Thanks. There are two reports of entry to the vaults, and more recent scanning and a small intrusive dig before the Trust was formed. The scan and dig found nothing but resulted in the Chapel being protected by various Laws. We are concerned with conservation at present, but possibly, once completed the Trustees may look at other courses of action."
Director, Rosslyn Chapel.
So, now we know - maybe.
That looks a lot like the bombed out church in the game, "Return to Castle Wolfenstein". Did they find a ritualistic dagger to be used to bring back a demon-possessed German leader from the 1300's; only for be wiped out by an Arnold-look-alike armed with brass-knuckles, a .45, a Tommy Gun, an MP45, a shotgun, a double-barreled shotgun, a battery-powered gatling gun, WW2 GI-issued and German potatomasher handgrenades, a silenced machine gun, a sniper rifle, a bolt-action rifle, bullet-proof armor, a rocketlauncher, and first aid kits up the wazuu?
There are some pretty freaky things there, too. BUt, mainly in the form a freaky people getting on and off the metro trains.
Thank you for the additional info.
Many thanks for the update and email report...
There are quite a few ways the vaults could be examined these days ... pencil thin wire cameras, etc...
Mercator's 1569 world map isn't detailed enough to show Narragansett Bay. He does have various symbols as do other maps, but they frequently reflect what was thought to be the case rather than personal knowledge. So the Norse were known, through the sagas at the very least, to have been in NE North America, and he shows that.
As for measurements, there are at least half a dozen competing claims about the measurements used, each used to prove that a different group designed it - they can't all be right! This applies to architectural style as well.
C14 dating suggests that it is colonial and very unlikely to be much earlier.
Then there's the fact that the one dig carried out showed absolutely no signs of anything not Native American or colonial.
And finally, there's the stone Chesterton Windmill in England, built just a bit earlier than the colony and which could easily have been the inspiration for the Norfolk Tower.
As for the alleged corn at Rosslyn - is it corn? How can you tell? What did corn, highly evolved from the original, look like around 1500 which is probably about the time of the carvings (and 100 years after Sinclair's alleged voyage). I know people who are sure it does not look like corn/maize, - the 3-lobed leaf could be one of a number of plants.
Most of the information on the web regarding the original purpose of the Chesterton Mill is copied verbatim from a piece written by Dorothy Noden who states that the structure was originally constructed as a mill. This would be interesting as there appears to be no other mill structure constructed in a similar fashion anywhere else.
I have read in many places that it was built as an Observatory in 1632 & converted to grinding grain later. One quote is from a mill expert, Rex Wailes writing in 1937: The Chesterton windmill has been converted to its present (or more properly past) purpose beyond all doubt. This can be seen by inspection of the cap which is the revolving top portion carrying the sails...
I'm not an archeologist (though I have been involved in post grad fieldwork - more out of curiousity than anything) and am not debating the origin of the Newport structure but it does not appear that anyone has come up with a difinitive theory as to who built the structure, when and for what purpose. Any radiocarbon dating should really be conducted on the moartar used as - presumably - the shells ground into lime used in the mixture would give some indication as to the general age of the construction.Perhaps ther is some organic material other than shells that could be tested. Then again, the shells could well have come from old deposits on the shore with a far older date than their ultimate use.
If you conduct tests on organic materials at the base of or somewhere near the tower, all that is liable to tell you is that there was activity in that area at a given time. Similarly, if you carbon date a fire pit at a site and that site had been in use for 5k years but the materials you test come back saying 1k years, all you can conclude is that the particular combusted material indicates a presence at some time along the site's history but certainly not at that time the site was first occupied/used. People do adopt sites well after those who first established or built them are dead and gone for centuries. On top of that, organic objects - bones, shells, horn - fashioned into ceremonial or heirloom objects are often much older than their last or most recent owner/user.
I also have not made any assertion that carvings at Rosslyn are meant to depict corn/maise or Aloe as some have postulated. I've seen the carvings and it is a bit of a stretch to say that they resemble corn http://www.antoranz.net/CURIOSA/ZBIOR4/C0402/11-QZC09072_kukurydza.HTM
Corn in the 1400-1500's did look a lot like modern corn. Until the mid 1600's the Tunxis were growing "modern" corn along the banks of the Farmington River in CT and it was standard enough for a monetary excahange rate to be established by the first settlers of Farmington and Hartford. Certain areas known to be used for growing the corn have been examined and found to have been in use for a few hundred years. Ancient "corn" achieved its modern look over 4k years ago. See: http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,61210,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_3
Are the carvings a stylistic interpretation of corn? Who knows. The stonemasons who did it aren't talking.
Thank you for your common sense.