TWENTY-FIRST century technology is being used to make key features of Scotland’s historic Rosslyn Chapel more accessible for blind people and those with visual impairments.

An ongoing partnership between Rosslyn Chapel and Historic Environment Scotland has seen researchers making meticulous 3D scans of the entire structure since 2008.

This has already resulted in an app which allows users to take a virtual 360 degree tour of the medieval Chapel, and to see an animation of how it was built.

However details of the elaborate interior, known for the way virtually every surface is covered with carvings, have now also been scanned over the summer, allowing three of the chapel’s best-known features – the Apprentice Pillar, the Mason’s Pillar and a Green Man carving – to be recreated from their virtual models.

The Apprentice Pillar, one of the most detailed creations in the building, was said to have been completed by an apprentice stone-mason in his master’s absence. The master mason, seeing the work upon his return is claimed to have flown into a jealous rage and struck his apprentice dead on the spot.

The Green Man is a replica of the best of more than100 carved examples of the fertility symbol found within the chapel.

A series of 3D prints, produced from the scans, has now been completed and will become part of a handling kit allowing visually impaired visitors to experience the site more fully.

Amont the other notable carvings at the chapel are the ‘musical’ cubes which are suspended from the arches of the Lady Chapel - each carved with unexplained symbols made up of lines and dots. It has been speculated that they may be musical notes, or keys to a secret code of the kind which saw the Chapel famously featuring in the Da Vinci Code novel and film.

The 3D prints were unveiled at the Chapel on Tuesday, by Dr Lyn Wilson of Historic Environment Scotland, Rosslyn Chapel guide Norheena Carnie and technical conservation officer Alan Simpson.