Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Tales of the Month

Monthly tales from the city's archives

May 29, 2012

Impassioned debate on the most appropriate methods to conserve or restore Scotland’s historic properties is not new.

On 28 May 1861 a letter appeared in The Scotsman newspaper. It is clear that the correspondent did not agree with Queen Victoria who, on visiting Rosslyn Chapel two decades earlier, had been shocked by its green and overgrown condition. She had declared her wish that it should be ‘preserved for the country’. The Earl of Rosslyn authorised restoration work in 1861.

‘Sir.- I was overjoyed to see our large hearted friend “Randolph” , who is ever foremost in defending our quaint old city against the ruthless hands of the destroyer or restorer, for they are one and the same, raising his voice against the desecrations now being committed in Rosslyn Chapel.

I should know every stone of that glorious old building, having within the last eighteen months spent, at the least, six months within its walls . . . but no one who has done so will ever forget the glorious coloured robe in which nature has decked it; and to think that the robe which has taken 300 years to perfect is to be destroyed at one fell swoop, is something barbarous.’

EWH are grateful for permission to use this extract from “The Edinburgh Book of Days” by Michael T.R.B. Turnbull, published by The History Press.
http://bit.ly/nxNKIh (www.thehistorypress.co.uk)

More tales from Edinburgh’s archives will appear in June.

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