Rosslyn Chapel begins a new chapter

Rosslyn Chapel is located in Roslin village, 7 miles from Edinburgh. The chapel can trace its history back to 1446 when it was founded by Sir William St Clair, 3rd Prince of Orkney. It is said of him “William, with his age creeping upon him…. came into his mind to build a house for God’s service … that it might be done with greater glory and splendour”. The Chapel itself took some forty years to build and required a large number of workmen to complete. William died in 1484 and work on the Chapel seems to have ceased at about that time.

In a beautiful setting and known for its detailed decorative art and fine stone carvings the Chapel has always inspired and intrigued artists and visitors alike. It has survived many turbulent times including being seized by Protestant reformers who destroyed a lot of the internal infrastructure including the altars in 1592 and it wasn’t until 1862 that the building was finally restored to once again play its role as a fully functioning Chapel.

With such a lengthy and violent history coupled with the intricate stone carvings that many today are still attempting to interpret it is probably not surprising that countless myths and legends have evolved associated with the Chapel. These are impossible to prove or disprove conclusively. Its fame and popularity has increased significantly due to the starring role it played in The Da Vinci Code. So much so that in recent years it has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Scotland.

Not surprisingly after close to 600 years service, the building has recently needed to undergo a major re-conservation to refurbish and upgrade the existing infrastructure as well as to add a visitor’s centre, to cope with the now annual 70,000 visitor numbers.

An important element of this work has been to stabilise the internal temperature and to provide the back-up services that are now key to such an important landmark. To achieve this Grundfos Pumps Ltd worked with contractors PS Scotland from Glasgow to offer a turnkey solution that included a range of Grundfos energy efficient pumps including the Grundfos ALPHA2 and MAGNA canned rotor, electronically controlled circulators that are ‘A’ energy rated, these pumps are suitable for circulating hot or cold water in heating systems within domestic and light commercial applications up to 10 bar.

Grundfos TPE single-stage electronically controlled centrifugal pumps that operate up the 16 bar and are suitable for a range of commercial operations that involve circulation. A Hydro Multi-E booster set was also part of the package that will ensure water is available where and when it is needed as well as a Grundfos microprocessor controlled IMpress pressurisation set and various ancillary items. All the pumps selected will optimise energy and ensure that the running costs are maintained at the lowest levels possible without compromising comfort.

The £13m project is now coming to an end and soon the building will once again be fully open to visitors who will be able to see the chapel restored to its former glory. We all love a mystery and this site has particularly been the subject of speculation regarding a connection between it and the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail. Wherever the truth lies, the chapel is about to embark on the latest chapter of its history that will now deliver this ancient structure, complete with 21st century comfort levels, to the next generation of visitors. Should you visit, you may not find the Holy Grail, but you will find a real architectural treasure.