Last time we were in Scotland, long before Dan Brown had ever read Holy Blood, Holy Grail, I went looking for Roslin Chapel after learning that it was not that far from Edinburgh, where Jan’s sister Elspeth lives. You will know by now, of course, that Roslin Chapel is where the fabled lost treasure of the Knights Templar is supposed to be hidden, having been bought from France in 13 hundred and something. Ok, ok, I’ll have a quick look on Goooooooogle. 1307! There! And the last Grandmaster was Jacque de Molay, who was slowly spit-roasted in front of Notre Dame Cathedral in 1314. Do you want the names of all the knights as well? As Jacque died he cursed King Philip and Pope Clement as they baked him slowly over hot coals and, to no one’s surprise, they both died within the year. A bit like Ned Kelly and Judge Redmond Barry, I suppose, except the judge only lasted ten days after Ned’s cursed him from the dock. Such is life.
Until recently you had to be to be serious nerd to have even heard of Roslin Chapel, let alone want to go and visit it. And so we went searching. Now, this is a mysterious place; so mysterious that the name of the chapel and Rosslyn, the little town in which it is located, are spelt differently, obviously designed to put nerdy treasure hunters off the track. Well, this treasure hunter and his poor, suffering, unnerdy, travelling companion weren’t going to be put off and did, indeed, track the chapel down after searching for what seemed like hours down narrow laneways and dead-end streets. With the help of Jim, Jan’s brother-in –law, we did find it, but unfortunately, not until the last day of the holiday, and five minutes after it had shut. I took a few photos by climbing over the fence but the treasure remained hidden for a few more years.
This time, however, due to the Da Vinci Code’s moderate success, the roads leading to the chapel have been rebuilt and are now are bigger than the M25, and just as busy. Huge brown tourist signs point the way from all points in Scotland and every single person who has only every read one book in their entire lives has gone on the literary pilgrimage. Now, I can talk, but we both came out of the chapel damn near blinded by all the flashguns being set off. Being in a truly atmospheric, moody church and with all the bright light it was just as well there wasn’t any holy music playing otherwise we both might have thought the end had come. Choirs of angels etc. “I’m coming Jacque!”
Most people believe the treasure is buried under the main alter in the chapel but I believe that it is out in the graveyard. Either that or it was taken to America by Columbus in 149…Gooogle…2. However, there is one particular unusual looking gravestone that could be a likely candidate. Is it the entrance to a tunnel? What better spot, I thought, my conspiracy seeped brain running into overload. Who ever is going to dig up a grave to see if it is a doorway to the source of the gold? It started me thinking, thinking, thinking … but then I got hungry, so we left and went to a pub for lunch. And there, right at the next table, was the guy who shot JFK from the Grassy Knole and another guy who was a dead ringer for Elvis!