The Chapel was created in 1829 after the passing of the Catholic Emancipation Act allowing Roman Catholics freedom to worship in public. At Traquair, the former Billiard Room was converted. It is Victorian in style with the pews for servants and estate workers and a separate screened area at the back for the family.
The Chapel is also situated immediately over the brew house and when when brewing is taking place some very “heavenly” smells waft up from underneath.
The Oak Panels
There are 12 carved oak panels dating from the 1500’s around the wall which depict the Life of Christ. They are Flemish and were brought to Scotland by Scottish craftsmen who travelled through the Low Countries in the early 16th century. They were then installed in Bishop Lamb’s chapel in Leith, Edinburgh until finally being acquired by the 5th Earl for the sum of 20 guineas. It is said they were whitewashed over and hidden during the Reformation period and not displayed in the Chapel until the late 1800’s.
Needlework in the Chapel
Also on display are 19 more modern embroidered kneelers that were completed in 2012. These were designed by Carol Anne Long using inspiration from interiors in the house. The needleworkers included staff, volunteers and members of the family.
A Chapel for All
Today the Chapel holds a Catholic Mass on the last Thursday of the month from April – October at 7pm (all welcome). We also welcome wedding ceremonies, baptisms, and visiting parishes who may wish to celebrate Mass here.
The Chapel can seat up to 50 but it is a quiet and intimate space also suitable for very small gatherings.