Rosslyn Precinct

Written By

John Brown

15.12.2020 Thinking

Page\Park are proud to have worked with Rosslyn Chapel Trust and to have supported their vision for the internationally significant Rosslyn Chapel and Castle precinct for over ten years. It often happens that a long relationship with a site and a client teaches us our most valuable lessons. Working with built heritage of international significance requires patience, knowledge, commitment, and humility and the range of projects we have executed in the village of Roslin demonstrates some of the best qualities and services we can offer as architects. During our Heritage and Conservation MMM we had a look at our past involvement in the context of new and exciting opportunities.

Our conservation expertise and in-house technical knowledge of stone restoration was challenged many times during forensic repairs of stonework and roof works for Rosslyn Chapel, one of the architectural gems of the country. The building was ‘rediscovered’ in the 19th century due to its romantic yet dilapidated condition while inappropriate late 20th century repairs carried out prior to our involvement reminds us why all conservation technologies must be reversible. Our addition of lead coverings to the roof is one of a very few visible interventions while the work of best masons in Scotland is already almost imperceptible. We are proud of our continued involvement with the challenges of conservation management and to play our part in the ongoing discussion with the client, HES and a range of conservation specialists.

Rosslyn Chapel Visitor Centre

Rosslyn Chapel Visitor Centre was commissioned in response to the increasing number of visitors interested in the fascinating biblical and mythical stories carved into the masonry of the 15th century building. This new, airy building was designed to sit seamlessly alongside the scheduled monument grounds and to respect the modest size of the chapel itself. The inspiration for a complex floating roof structure was drawn from the carvings of the lintel stone above the former access gate. The building provides much needed accommodation – new controlled entrance, shop, café, display and education space – while sitting harmoniously within its sensitive setting.


Collegehill, a former inn, sits just outside the Chapel grounds. The project to refurbish the building and upgrade its facilities as a holiday let became a good lesson on vernacular architecture and the importance of intangible heritage.  Careful conservation of engravings left on the glass window panes by the guests secures this beautiful link with the past. Overseen by our senior conservation architect, the building became a learning ground for our younger generation of architects in experiencing some of the best and weakest aspects of traditional construction.

The building has been host to many notable guests including Burns, the Wordsworths and Boswell and Johnson on their famous Scottish tour.”

Finally, Rosslyn Castle, a tranquil site hidden within dense woodland below the chapel has its own story to tell. Our colleagues from the Heritage and Conservation group are currently weaving their own story through their careful involvement with a site that is both a scheduled monument and an A-listed building.

Utilising our in-house knowledge of the history of the Rosslyn precinct and technical knowledge of masonry repair, we were tasked with preparation of a Conservation Management Plan, repair of the stonework and to secure the building’s future through a new and exciting development.”

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