Thursday, January 24, 2019

Knights Templar, the Da Vinci Code and Haunted Rosslyn Chapel


Yesterday I posted my review of Catherine Cavendish's "The Haunting of Henderson Close" here. Today Catherine has kindly agreed to visit with a fascinating post about :


Knights Templar and the Da Vinci Code 
Haunted Rosslyn Chapel



With its historic and mystical connections to the Knights Templar as well as its ancient majestic beauty, it comes as little surprise that Dan Brown choose Rosslyn Chapel as the setting for so much activity in his multi-million bestseller The Da Vinci Code. When it came to making the film, there would have been no point seeking out any other location for the chapel scenes. Rosslyn was authentic, ready and waiting. Tom Hankks described it as, “all one could imagine or hope for.”

But Rosslyn Chapel is far more than a mere movie set – and is home to a variety of active spirits.
It stands in the village of Roslin and was built around 500 years ago. Roslin was the home of the Sinclair Earls of Orkney who lived like royalty in Rosslyn Castle from the 12th or 13th century. They fought for Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn in 1314 and Sir William Sinclair was probably one of the Knight Crusaders.
The Chapel was founded in 1446 by William Sinclair, Earl of Orkney although building did not commence until a few years later. It was originally intended to be a collegiate chapel.

Legends abound here. The crypt –which is sealed off and has been for many years – is rumoured to house the Holy Grail brought back by the Knights Templar and secreted there. Even more fantastic legends have it that the original crown jewels of Scotland along with Christ’s mummified head are also stored there, along with the entire treasure collected by the Knights Templar - and the true cross. Beneath the crypt lies the burial chamber where ten former Earls of Roslin are alleged to have been laid out in their armour – but without coffins.
A number of spirits are said to haunt the chapel walls and the surrounding area, and people with no prior knowledge of these stories have reported seeing and hearing strange apparitions and unexplained sounds.
As with so many haunted locations, Rosslyn Chapel has its White Lady and she has appeared to startled visitors a number of times over the years. She is reputed to guard treasure hidden in the castle. Tradition has it that if you can find the right step to stand on and blow a trumpet you might wake her and then you may be rewarded with that which she protects.

If you explore the area by car or on foot, you may encounter a medieval knight in black armour riding a horse hundreds of years after he was killed in battle – probably in 1303.
Other stories tell of ghostly flames which could be seen whenever a Sinclair was on the point of death. The chapel also plays host to the spirit of an apprentice – one who carved the magnificent Apprentice Pillar. He was apparently so good, his teacher felt threatened by his talent and murdered him.
The howling of a ghostly dog has been reported. He is supposed to have been killed with his master – an English soldier – in battle in 1303.

As for the Knights Templar, they are on eternal guard, protecting some secret source of knowledge hidden deep within the chapel which, in addition to the ornate Apprentice Pillar contains other mysterious and beautiful carvings, charismatic enough to convince some people that they conceal a wonderful message. Certainly the symbols depicted here are an eclectic collection – Egyptian, Celtic, Islamic and pagan and include more carvings of Green Men than any other location. Enigmatic and baffling, the carvings continue to intrigue and engage the minds of architectural scholars from generation to generation.



As for its founder, Sir William Sinclair had planned to build a full size copy of King Solomon’s Temple but died before his project could get underway. Despite that, he would undoubtedly be delighted at how his greatest work has survived and entertained to this day.
These days, Rosslyn is still owned by the family who, down the years, by virtue of marriage and a change of spelling are now the St Clair-Erskines – Earls of Rosslyn. The chapel is still used as a place of worship and visitors are welcome here




Here’s what to expect from The Haunting of Henderson Close:
Ghosts have always walked there. Now they’re not alone…
In the depths of Edinburgh, an evil presence is released. Hannah and her colleagues are tour guides who lead their visitors along the spooky, derelict Henderson Close, thrilling them with tales of spectres and murder. For Hannah it is her dream job, but not for long. Who is the mysterious figure that disappears around a corner? What is happening in the old print shop? And who is the little girl with no face? The legends of Henderson Close are becoming all too real.
The Auld De’il is out – and even the spirits are afraid.


The Haunting of Henderson Close is available from:
About the author:


Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Catherine Cavendish is now the full-time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. In addition to The Haunting of Henderson Close, Cat’s novels include the Nemesis of the Gods trilogy - Wrath of the Ancients, Waking the Ancients and Damned by the Ancients, plus The Devil’s Serenade, The Pendle Curse and Saving Grace Devine.

Her novellas include Linden Manor, Cold Revenge, Miss Abigail’s Room, The Demons of Cambian Street, Dark Avenging Angel, The Devil Inside Her, and The Second Wife

She lives with her long-suffering husband, and a black cat who has never forgotten that her species used to be worshipped in ancient Egypt. She sees no reason why that practice should not continue. Cat and her family divide their time between Liverpool and a 260-year-old haunted apartment in North Wales.

You can connect with Cat here:



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