Is unique in exploring the landscape of Midlothian in depth — the geology, the flora and fauna, illustrated by fascinating antique maps. It was this landscape that supplied the pink, yellow and grey stone for Rosslyn Chapel, cut from the ancient wildernesses of Roslin Glen.
Explains in detail what few have done before — the daily life of the priests and choirboys at Rosslyn Chapel, one of 40 collegiate churches set up as powerhouses of prayer and song — some of the music still happily preserved in major libraries across Europe.
Makes clear the central role of the Scots scholar Fr Richard Augustine Hay, related to the Sinclair by marriage, and involved in the strange but brief years around 1688 when King James VII set up a Roman Catholic Chapel Royal at Holyrood, a printing-press and a school and Fr Hay took part in the services.
Explores the landscape of Midlothian from Temple village (home of glass artist and clarsach player Alison Kinnaird and folk musician Robin Morton, and once home to painter Sir William Gillies and author George Scott-Moncrieff), to Soutra Aisle and the unique ecumenical community of the Transfiguration.
Uncovers the role of Sir Walter Scott in increasing the Chapel’s reputation for mystery and the ways in which successive poets, painters and photographers celebrated the extraordinary design of the Chapel.
Ends with a new mystery, a challenge to its readers to uncover the truth behind an act of sacrilege committed in the Chapel in the 1470s, the answer to which lies in the Secret Vatican Archives in Rome.