Left: Samuel Dukinfield Swarbreck’s 1837
The Interior of Rosslyn Chapel.
Above: Screenshot from Tommy and Stuart Mitchells’YouTube presentation,
The RosslynStave Angel --Music Cipher.
One other theory about the naming of the Prentice Pillar,albeit a rather mundane one, bears mention. Contemporaneousto the building of the chapel there was, in the East Midlandstown of Chellaston, England, a renowned alabaster quarry andworkshop of the firm Prentys and Sutton. Perhaps master carv-er Thomas Prentys carved the Prentys Pillar.While there may be no legitimate tie to freemasonryafforded by the legend of the slain apprentice -- a legend thatis not unique to Rosslyn Chapel -- my recent research hasshown that there may indeed by a symbolic tie, however ten-uous, between the building of the chapel and the building of Solomon’sTemple.In James Anderson’s 1723
, which utilizessome of freemasonry’s oldest manuscripts, is the followingdescription of the building of Solomon’sTemple (emphasismine).“ D a g o n ’s Temple, and the finest structures of Tyre andSidon, could not be compared with the Eternal God’s Te m p l eat Jerusalem. There were employed about it no less than 3,699
Princes or Master- M a s o n s
, to conduct the work according toS o l o m o n ’s directions.”So, Sibbald’s naming of the Prince’s Pillar may have hadnothing to do with the founder’s “princely origins.” The pil-lar we now know of as the Prentice Pillar may, in fact, haveoriginally been the Master’s Pillar.And now, on to Rosslyn’s “Musical Cubes.”Many of you will know that today’s varied patterns on the213 cubes that hang down from the ceiling ribs of Rosslyn’sLady Chapel have been long thought to hold a musical code,and that the father-and-son team of Tommy and StuartMitchell, a few years ago, came up with a solution to thatcode that resulted in a commercially successful book and amusical composition titled
The Rosslyn Motet
.Many of you will also know that I subsequently wrote anarticle on the Mitchells’solution, now archived on my web-site at
m y t h o m o r p h . c o m
, taking issue with its veracity, andused as evidence the 1837 Swarbreck, showing the sorry stateof the cubes before their restoration in the 1860s by architectDavid Bryce.In that article, the Mitchells’“Stave Angel” is described as“holding a stave of music, and is pointing to notes on thestave that exactly correspond with the Chladni patternsshown on the first three cubes above the angel’s head and,astonishingly, that these three notes account for 70 percent of the entire cube sequence.” Chladni patterns are caused whena “sustained note is used to vibrate a sheet of metal coveredin powder, producing marks.” The marks produced by differ-ent notes can “include flowers, diamonds and hexagons --shapes all present on the Rosslyn cubes.”My article did not convince the True Believers that theM i t c h e l l s ’claims were suspect, perhaps because theSwarbreck drawing I used as evidence was not of a suffi-ciently high resolution. I have since acquired a large-formatand high-quality reproduction of his original drawing, andhave included a section of it on the following page for your inspection.
Copyright April/December 2010 by Jeff Nisbet / www.mythomorph.com