Rosslyn Chapel & Chapel Precinct Conservation

Forensic repair of stonework and roof works for the Rosslyn Chapel Trust

The restoration and preservation of Rosslyn Chapel, made even more renowned through its portrayal in Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” book and film, posed a significant challenge. The project spanned five years and encompassed specialized stone and stained glass conservation, the installation of a district heating system, and the replacement of the original porous stone roofs with lead to combat severe dampness and internal moss and algae growth. Situated on the outskirts of Edinburgh, in proximity to Rosslyn Castle, this small medieval chapel experienced a surge in both international and domestic visitors.

In response to this influx of visitors, a broader project was undertaken, involving the construction of a new building adjacent to the Chapel to serve as a visitor reception area. Page\Park Architects had a longstanding collaboration with the Rosslyn Chapel Trust, providing architectural expertise. Over the five-year project duration, they led a team of 14 specialist consultants and professionals, navigating the delicate balance between conserving the Chapel, maintaining public access, and preserving its use as a place of worship.


A three-year lead-in period allowed them to anticipate the challenges posed by the popularity of “The Da Vinci Code” and collaborate closely with the Rosslyn Chapel Trust to plan enhanced visitor facilities capable of accommodating the expected, albeit lower, visitor numbers. Given the Chapel’s 15th-century origins, the project unfolded in a sensitive context, surrounded by A-listed buildings, with the entire area being designated as a scheduled site.

However, even in this historically rich setting, change was deemed necessary. The crux of true conservation lies in understanding the relative significance of each element. The project balanced the construction of new visitor facilities with a deeply considerate, conservator-focused approach to all aspects of the Chapel itself, ensuring its continued preservation for generations to come.

Project Info

Rosslyn Chapel Trust
August 2013
Structural Engineer
Peter Elliot & Company
M&E Engineer
Harley Hadow Partnership
Landscape Architect
Ian White Associates
Nicolas Boyes Stone Conservation
Andrew Lee
Stone Consultants
Nicolas Boyes Stone Conservation
Stained Glass Consultant & Conservator
Mark Bambrough
AOC Archaeology