"Wine is strong a King is stronger, women are stronger still but truth conquers all."
Translation of Latin words found on the architrave joining the pillar.
Taken from the Book of Esdras, ch 3 & 4.
The story of this famous pillar goes that the master mason who carved this pillar was unable to complete his work and so journeyed to Rome to receive further guidance on its completion. However on his return he found the pillar had already been completed in his absence by the his apprentice. In his fury the master mason killed the young apprentice, and so the pillar was named. On the pillar itself there are many fleur-di-lis, and also on the cusping of the roof this suggests masons from Strasbourg France undertook some of the work within Rosslyn. The central pendant at the east end of the chapel has a representation of the Star of Bethlehem and sculpted figures of the Virgin and Child and Eastern Kings associated with the birth of Christ. The fleur-de-lis is also symbolic of the flowers, iris and lily which themselves compete to represent The Virgin Mary. The fleur-de-lis is also associated with royalty.
The 'Apprentice Pillar' is also referred to in 'An account of the
chapel of Roslin', 1778, as the 'Princes Pillar'.
This information came from the Official Rosslyn Chapel website:
More photographs in the Rosslyn Chapel Set with information on history, architecture, ghosts and legends under various photographs.