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Rosslyn Castle



The Castle has been overshadowed by the splendour of the Chapel but, of  course, there would be no Chapel
if there had been no Castle and no Castle if there had been no Sinclairs and no Sinclairs if they hadn't realised
that Rosslyn Glen was a sacred place.  The Sinclairs selected their sites with infinite care and with due regard
for the sacred geometry of the Earth.

The first Sinclair Castle was actually on the site of the present Chapel but an English prisoner (who had been
captured at the Battle of Roslin in 1303) informed the William St Clair of the day that his Castle was on the
wrong site and that he should move it to the promontory which was surrounded by the North Esk River on
three sides.  He pointed out that by cutting a trench across the neck of the promontory and building a draw-
bridge that such a Castle would be impregnable.

Of course, he was ignorant about the advent of gunpowder so when Cromwell's forces arrived in 1650 (some 350 years
later) General Monck simply placed his cannon on the other side of the river and battered the Castle to the
ground.   The Sinclairs, as usual, refused to surrender and suffered as a consequence.  The Ramsays, on the
other hand surrendered immediately, which means that their castle (Dalhousie) is still standing to the present day.                                 It was used to billet Cromwell's troops.  Rosslyn Castle was partly re-built as a residence but never regained its previous          grandeur.

Monck stabled his horses in the Chapel until he was ordered by Cromwell "do not touch the Chapel".  Cromwell was
the master-mason of England (he had been trained at the Temple in London) and knew of the Chapel significance to
the Masonic movement.  All the other Chapels in Scotland were destroyed.  (Cromwell forces even reached the Orkneys).

The neglect of the Chapel really began after the death of the last Sinclair owner who was  Major General Sir James
Sinclair who died without male issue in 1762 when his Estate fell to his nephew Colonel James Patterson who added
St Clair to his name.  Later the Estate fell to the Erskines who again added St Clair to their name and, from then on,
began the break-up of one of the finest Estates in Scotland which, at one time, was bringing in over 40,000 a year
(now worth over 4m a year) from the royalties from the coalfields of Fife alone.  The money was squandered on gaming
and on horses.  Nothing was spent on the Castle or on the Chapel.  The Castle is now habitable because of a Government
grant and the Chapel is now being maintained through grants (negotiated by the Friends of Rosslyn) from Historic Scotland
and other funding bodies.

Essentially, the Chapel is the spiritual home of the Sinclairs and, ideally, it should revert to Sinclairs.  Failing that, it should
belong to Historic Scotland so that its splendours might be preserved 'in perpetuity' for the people of Scotland.  It has
been in alien hands for far too long.  Please see "The Vision of Earl William St Clair" which I wrote some years ago and
which outlines the ideals of the founder when he built the Chapel. 

Niven Sinclair

Dear Ward,

There are no books specifically about the Castle