Flora of Rosslyn Chapel and Roslin Glen

Yesterday I had a lovely day out that began with a visit to Rosslyn Chapel, a 15th century private chapel in Roslin, Midlothian.

In addition to it's fame from the DaVinci Code books and movie, the chapel is known for its intricate sandstone carvings. Every bit of the chapel, inside and out, is covered in detailed and imaginative sculpture depicting people and scenes from Celtic and Christian theology and the family history of the chapel's owners and craftsmen. But of most interest to me were the floral carvings, which were of a quantity and level of detail that I've not yet encountered. No photos were allowed inside, but there was still plenty to see on the chapel's exterior.

According to the interpretation, the carvers were inspired by the plants in nearby Roslin Glen. The carvings on the Victorian-era baptistry and organ loft include grape vines, roses, wood sorrel, ivy, daisies, and morning glories.

My favorite might have been this on the older part of the chapel: a hand holding a bunch of flowers.

Before the dreaded "chapel neck" could set in, my date and I left and set off outside the chapel on a hike down to Roslin Glen. The wildflowers were in full bloom, making for very pretty pictures and a chance to do a bit of mid-summer botanizing.

Native British orchid, still working on the I.D. but thinking Dactylorhiza fuchsii. Or maybe Dactylorhiza maculata or perhaps even a hybrid.

Mimulus guttatus, or monkeyflower, an alien invasive.

We ended our ramble near these beautiful young cows. The sun was doing magical things on the Pentland Hills, and a stunning evening drive took us to our well-deserved and delicious pub dinner at the Sun Inn in Dalkieth. Good company, a bit of art and history, some hiking, plants and nature capped off by great food made for a perfect day.