The date that Rosslyn was built appears to have been very carefully chosen according to ancient astrology used by the Jews since the building of King Solomon’s Temple right through to the predicted birth of Jesus Christ. Full details of this important dating issue can be found in The Book of Hiram.
In March 2002 we were contacted by Niven Sinclair about a Caithness businessman called Ashley Cowie who was asking for a meeting with us because he had found something he believed was significant on the wall of the crypt at Rosslyn. Ashley had remembered how in Uriel's Machine, we had shown how the Megalithic builders of prehistoric Britain had used lozenges as part of the proto-writing they developed between 4000 and 3000 BCE.
We had argued that these ancient people had used diamond shaped lozenge as a means of writing down a location. The angles of the lozenge were derived from the angles of the sun's shadow cast at the time of the solstice sunrises. The nearer one goes to the equator the flatter the lozenge. More northerly sites yield increasingly tall diamond symbols.
In Rosslyn’s crypt there are four faint lozenges cut in a vertical arrangement with each touching the next at their vertical points which Ashley felt could be latitude indicators exactly like the lozenges discussed in Uriel's Machine.
At first we were sceptical because four diamond shapes on a wall can mean anything. However, careful study of the angles of these lozenges and their arrangement appear to suggest that Ashley is right:
The bottom one is a flat shape with internal left and right angles that gives one hundred and twenty degrees, which corresponds to the solstice angles of the latitude of Jerusalem. The next symbol is an accurate square, which corresponds to the latitude of Rosslyn itself. The third lozenge corresponds with Orkney (William St Clair, who designed and built Rosslyn, was the last Norwegian Earl of Orkney).
The forth symbol was a puzzle at first but investigation demonstrated that it directly corresponded with the original home of the family that gave rise to the St Clairs. All four lozenges turned out to be Megalithic ‘postcodes’ for the locations that mattered to William St.Clair, the builder of Rosslyn.
The four matches could be coincidence but a statistical analysis gives a probability of at least 1:128 against those markings occurring together by chance. This means that we can reasonably assume the converse, which is that this set of lozenges could have been designed to represent these four locations in a Grooved Ware system of notation. (See The Book of Hiram, Christopher and Robert's forthcoming new book, for a full explanation)
Niven St.Clair has told us the story of how he and a number of others had conducted investigations both inside and outside of the building back in 1997. The year after The Hiram Key was published they had dug a number of investigative holes and found an underground passageway leading from the chapel, under Gardener's Brae to Rosslyn Castle some considerable distance away. Niven described the tunnel as being huge and very deep underground at the point where it enters under the foundations of Rosslyn.
The steps that go down from the main chapel to the crypt end on a modern floor but Niven tells how there is another flight of steep steps concealed beneath that floor, leading in the opposite direction back under the main building to a vault directly underneath the engrailed cross in the chapel roof.
According to Niven's information it was in this deep and centrally positioned vault that rituals of initiation with four levels or degrees were once conducted. He was not clear as to the nature of these initiations, saying that perhaps they were a secretly surviving strand of the Knights Templar or a proto-Masonic rite.
Niven described how the tunnel connects this vault with the castle. It leaves the hidden vault directly below the south door just feet from the carving of the candidate being initiated by means of a ritual that we have shown statistically to be connected to modern Freemasonry. At this point the passageway is three feet wide and five feet high where it emerges below the south door. Its roof is eight and a half feet below ground level. After a straight run of approximately twenty five feet the passage turns ninety degrees towards the east and drops down the hillside with its roof twelve and a half feet below ground level. The tunnel then continues under the field towards the castle.
We sketched the layout of the tunnel and vaults and as we did so we realised that we had heard this whole description of hidden chambers and secret tunnels before. The Fourteenth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, otherwise known as The Grand, Elect, Perfect and Sublime Mason identifies a subterranean passageway connecting Solomon's temple with his palace in Jerusalem, saying:
...King Solomon builded a secret vault, the approach to which was through eight other vaults, all under ground, and to which a long and narrow passage led from the palace. The ninth arch or vault was immediately under the Holy of Holies of the Temple. In that apartment King Solomon held his private conferences with King Hiram and Hiram Abif.
So, according to Masonic ritual there was an all important chamber underneath the Holy Temple which was connected to Solomon's palace. And Rosslyn also had a passageway connected to the 'palace' or residence of the 'Grand Master'.
The relationship between the two is remarkable. Here is yet more evidence that speaks of a connection between the Jerusalem Temple and Rosslyn, as well between Rosslyn and later Masonic ritual.