004 This morning, we departed our lodgings in Glasgow’s West End and drove east to Roslin, south of Edinburgh. Upon arrival we called in at Rosslyn Chapel where we were able to join the 11.00 am guided tour of this historic building which dates from the 15th century. Summary facts and information as follows:

  • Closely associated with the Sinclair family through founding by Sir William St. Clair in 1446.
  • Originally Roman Catholic but now Scottish Episcopalian and known as the Collegiate Church of St. Matthew.
  • Took forty years to build using services of top stone masons in Europe.
  • Interior well endowed with high quality and extensive carvings containing religious messages and symbolism.
  • Featured in Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code subsequent to which visitor numbers have mushroomed.
  • Probable connections with Freemasonry.

003 We departed Roslin about 12.00 noon and then drove up to Edinburgh where we had lunch and spent over an hour visiting the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Summary information on the Palace as follows:

  • Th adjacent, and now ruined Augustinian Abbey,  had a guest house for important visitors out of which progressively evolved into the current Palace whilst the Abbey ultimately deteriorated into current ruinous state.
  • King James IV (1488-1513) and V (1513-42) undertook considerable work on building and developing the Palace. James VI resided there until he moved to London in 1603 after which the importance of the building declined. The current building dates from the late 17th century consequent on a re-build prompted by the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II. Other important personages and royalty connected with the Palace include James VII, Mary Queen of Scots, Charles Edward Stuart, Comte d’Artois (French), George IV and Queen Victoria.
  • Tours are undertaken at own pace by audio guide. Key aspects include the Quadrangle, Great Stair and State Apartments with latter incorporating a Great Gallery which features an extensive series of portraits of real and legendary kings of Scotland. Visitors also have access to the Abbey and gardens with latter providing views of Arthur’s Seat.

Holyrood Abbey 017 Quadrangle 016 Front elevation of Palace of Holyroodhouse 011 Arthur’s Seat from Holyrood 014   Opposite the Palace is the Scottish Parliament which dates from 2004  and was designed by Enric Miralles. 006   After the Palace we embarked on a short driving tour of Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns and then returned West, to Paisley and finally drop-off at hotel at Glasgow Airport, thus concluding the seven-day Scotland tour,

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