Roslin Chapel; 'Prentice Pillar
Photographer: Wilson, George Washingon (1823-1893)
Medium: Photographic print
“…[W]e may rejoice that, notwithstanding the assaults and perils through which this beautiful chapel has passed, in common with almost every ecclesiastical building in Scotland, it remains so entire as it does. It is a specimen of the ecclesiastical architecture of Scotland that is without peer. Outside and inside it is a truly beautiful object. Its aisles on each side are supported by rows of pointed arches, of which the pillars are not more than eight feet high, with clustered shafts of a massiveness equalling the Saxon; and the arches themselves richly ornamented in successive corded bands, or spandrels. The capitals of the pillars are also elaborately carved in foliage intermingled with figures. One pillar has a renown of its own. It is called the ’prentice pillar, the legend being that the apprentice of the architect executed this in his master’s absence…The pillar is of exquisite workmanship, being covered with the most delicate tracery, which runs spirally round it.”
Excerpt from “Roslin Chapel and Castle”, in ‘Ruined Abbeys and Castles of Great Britain’ by William and Mary Howitt.