A Rosslyn Treasury

Stories and Legends from Rosslyn Chapel

P. L. Snow


Quick Look

A collection of stories represented by the carvings at Rosslyn Chapel, drawn from the beginnings of the world, Ancient Egypt, the Holy Land, Celtic myth and Scottish history.

Floris Books
Mind, Body, Spirit
30 b/w photographs
184 pages
Publication date:
05 Jul 2017


Rosslyn Chapel, eight miles south of Edinburgh, has captured the imagination of many in recent years. This extraordinary building, dating from the fifteenth century, has long been a place of pilgrimage for people with widely differing interests, whether historical, architectural or spiritual.

P.L. Snow has for many years been gathering the stories that are represented by the numerous carvings inside and outside the chapel building. Many of the carvings, eroded by the years or damaged by vandalism during the Reformation, have been lovingly restored over time. They are eloquent illustrations of the biblical, historical and legendary tales that they represent.

This book traces themes of transformation and metamorphosis through inward endeavour, and will be fascinating for anyone interested in stories from the beginnings of the world, Ancient Egypt, the Holy Land, Celtic myth and Scottish history.

Table of Contents

Preface: Rosslyn and its stories and legends
Introduction: A Brief History of Rosslyn
1. The Expulsion from Eden
2. The Golden Legend
3. The Green Men -- Osiris
4. Hermes Trismegistus
5. Melchizedek, Abraham and Isaac
6. Moses
7. The Temple of Solomon
8. Elijah
9. The Three Kings
10. Saint Veronica
11. The Soldiers of Golgotha
12. The Cockle Shell
13. Mani and the Cathars
14. The Twin Dragons
15. The Legend of the Holy Grail
16. Saint Margaret
17. The Rise and Fall of the Templars
18. The Heart of Robert the Bruce
19. The Rose Cross: A Fantasy of Rosslyn
20. The Last of the Templars


'Peter Snow opens up the spiritual treasury of Rosslyn as a medieval storybook for modern times. Eschewing pseudo history, he marries the stories and the symbols to delight and inspire.'
-- Donald Smith, Director, Scottish Storytelling Centre

'Through giving examples of recent and intersting discoveries about the chapel, Peter Snow points out that it is still 'revealing its secrects'. With its mixture of tales and historical snippets I found A Rosslyn Treasury offered an interesting and entertaining way of learning a great deal about Rosslyn Chapel itself together with the symbology and meaning behind its many carvings.'
-- Rosemary Usselman, New View

'Rosslyn Chapel exerts an enduring fascination, drawing visitors from all over the world to a small building that one would image can hardly contain all the expectations of it. Yet despite the hype and nonsense, it retains its romance, this book may be a key as to why… Snow illustrates the story's role as an act of pilgrimage'
-- Northern Earth, issue 120

'The author suggest that this building needs to be understood at three levels: physical, spiritual and divine; this is the meaning of sacred art as a way of raising conciousness to the divine by means of physical manifestation'
-- Scientific and Medical Network Review. Winter 2009/10

'Peter Snow's Rosslyn Treasury picks up on the lore/legend theme in an eloquent celebration of Rosslyn as a place of story. Finely produced – and told – this is a testimony to the continuing power of legend.'
-- Blethers , Scottish Storytelling Centre and Network


Peter Snow (1950-2019) was a barman, an office clerk, a warehouseman, a social worker, a goat-herd in Corsica and a psychiatric nurse, before becoming a teacher of English and Drama in the Edinburgh Steiner School, UK.

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