Keeping with my latest obsession with stone freemasonries, forts, and castles, I happen to stumble upon Rosslyn Castle by accident when I was preparing my weekly Monday Ground Up.
The castle is partly in ruin, but of course that adds to the mystery. Roslin castle is located is a village called Roslin in Midlothian, Scotland. The castle is dated back to the 14th century by the St. Clairs, Earls of Caithness and Barons of Roslin. You may remember that the Sinclair family actually testified against the Templars during their trial in 1309.
The castle was damaged by a domestic fire in 1452, and legend has it that during the domestic fire the Earl was in quite dismay because of his valuable manuscripts, including the Roslin-Hay manuscript, believed to be the earliest extant work in Scots was in danger of being destroyed. However, the they were lowered to safety from a window by his chaplain.
Roslin was more severely damaged by the Earl of Hertford, who burned the castle during the War of the Rough Wooing in 1544. The keep was almost totally destroyed, although its one remaining ruined wall can still be seen.
When the castle was initially in use, there was drawbridge for access to the site. However, after the site was renovated in the 16th century, an elongated, high stone bridge was constructed to take it's place. The upper part of the east range was renovated in 1622, with renaissance details and carvings on the windows and doors.
The current owner, the Earl of Rosslyn, a descendant of the Sinclairs, leases the castle as holiday accommodation via the Landmark Trust.
- Rosslyn Castle Feature Page on Undiscovered Scotland
- Rampant Scotland: Roslin Castle
- Gazetteer for Scotland: Roslin Castle