Hi-tech hope as chapel is searched in relic mystery

TWENTY-FIRST century technology is to be used to solve an age-old mystery at a famous Midlothian chapel.

The carved stones of the 15th century Rosslyn Chapel are said to contain dozens of historical relics including early gospels, the Ark of the Covenant, the holy grail and the mummified head of Christ.

Now, more than 550 years after work began on the site, the latest technology will be used to try and find the supposed relics.

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A non-invasive survey will be carried out at the chapel, home to the Knights Templar, successors to the warrior monks, who fled the Pope to Scotland in the 14th century.

The Knights Templar will use ultra-sound and thermal imaging equipment in a bid to find the reputed relics in the vaults.

John Ritchie, grand herald and spokesman for the Knights Templar, said: "The machine we are using is the most sophisticated anywhere and is capable of taking readings from the ground up to a mile deep without disturbing any of the land.

"We know many of the knights are buried in the grounds and there are many references to buried vaults, which we hope this project will finally uncover."

Rosslyn Chapel was founded by Sir William St Clair, third and last Prince of Orkney, in 1446.

One of the ornate columns, the Apprentice Pillar, is said to contain a lead casket which holds the legendary Holy Grail, a cup used by Christ at the Last Supper, which was also used to collect his blood.