"I have held up a light in the obscurity of Philosophy, which will be seen centuries after I am dead. It will be seen amidst the erection of Tombs, Theatres, Foundations, Temples, Orders and Fraternities for nobility and obedience — the establishment of good laws as an example to the World. For I am not raising a Capitol or Pyramid to the Pride of men, but laying a foundation in the human understanding for a holy Temple after he model of the World. For my memory I leave it to Men's charitable speeches, to foreign Nations and the next Ages, and to my own Country after some Time has elapsed." -- Francis Bacon, Advancement of Learning (1605), Bk II.


Join me to explore the hidden tenets of arranged alignments of architecture and art. Structures as diverse as the Great Pyramid, Baalbek, The Tower of the Winds, Hagia Sopia, Basilica San Vitale, The Dome of the Rock, St. Peter's Square, Gisors, The Newport Tower, Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest, and the Georgia Guidestones all may have a common origin.

Three reproductions of the Tower of the Winds in England help to display how this age old value is viewed through time. Along the way many legends and myths associated with the Holy Grail and other relics are examined.

Treasure myths such as the Oak Island Legend and The Beale Treasure Legend may have a common origin and hidden meaning. The tale of The Bruton Parish Church Vault (a.k.a. "Bacon's Vault) may also be a copy of an already existent mystery at Stirling Castle.

THE REAL ROSE LINE OF ROSSLYN; The Earls of Orkney and the Newport Tower

THE REAL ROSE LINE OF ROSSLYN; The Earls of Orkney and the Newport Tower

Here is a short video showing how Rosslyn Chapel may have been included on a Prime Meridian that had been created by previous Earl of Orkney Haakon Paulsson. Haakon built the Orphir Round Church in Orkney. Read more below. 

In recent years a great controversy has resurfaced as to the true origins of the Newport Tower in Rhode Island. Some ascribe its origins to the Norse who they insist came to what is New England today long ago. Through time we have seen how people like Eben Horsford and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow may have promoted the idea of the Norse discovery of North America for reasons of their own.

If we examine the motivations for these men’s belief in this theory many political overtones are revealed that link to an English right to “own” New England vs. a Spanish ownership or claim. These national differences also reflect the differences between English monarchs and the Latin Church during many periods of English history. It may be that English factions saw reasons why they would have a more legitimate claim via an earlier discovery of this region by Norse interests that over time became part of the domain of England via Scotland. The use of this heritage as a rationale for claim may not have been undertaken until the time of Elizabeth I or subsequent King James I.

In the Norse sagas it is speculated that one portion of this tale may describe the Viking settlement of L’Anse Aux Meadows in Newfoundland. Beyond that much of the evidence for Norse incursions or claim to North America have been claimed and disputed. People like Horsford lobbied for the Norse theory using faulty evidence in the mid nineteenth century as examined earlier. In response an entire mythology was supported and created by the works of people like Longfellow and Edgar Allan Poe who also seemed to be aware of the truths and falsehoods of this movement in American politics. As part of this story it may be that proponents of the Norse theory had planted relics and stone inscriptions that were meant to suggest that either Vikings or Knights had come to North America long before Columbus set foot in the West Indies. It was in this spirit that Horsford and others of a group known as the Boston Brahmins erected a statue of Leif Erikson in Boston amidst this controversy. Later we will discuss another important statue of Leif Erikson in Washington D.C.

Near the end of this era is when the famous Kensington Rune Stone was discovered by farmer Olaf Ohman in Minnesota. Still later a group produced a replica of a Viking Ship that was moored near the Chicago Exposition that honored Christopher Columbus. It may be that all of these facts and events have clouded the waters to a point where the truth of Norse exploration in North America will never be known through this fog of political and property disputes. It is clear that at the time of Horsford and the other Norse proponents of New England that no knowledge of L’ Anse Aux Meadows was known of. At that point it may have been somewhat wishful thinking for these people to believe that a Norse city known as Norumbega had once existed where Boston now stands. It is now clear that no evidence of this actually being true has ever been identified.

What we are left with is the fact that Norsemen came at least as far south as L’ Anse Aux Meadows and possibly ventured further south using that location as a base to spend the winter somewhere near date +/- 1000 A.D. It may be that a trail of truth was left via these inclusions into virgin territory and who may have become privy to it later via cultural ties to Scandinavian royalty. Coupled with this are the very same people who may have seen this discovery by Erikson and others to be representative of their right to own and rule New England or the Eastern Seaboard in later times during which Spain felt they had already claimed it. All of this does suggest that some Norsemen or other entity from later history did visit the eastern seaboard prior to Columbus’ “discovery” of North America from an island in the West Indies. That is not what is in question. What is being examined here is that there are no records or evidence of such explorations and that it is possible that false historical clues were left to support a much later political point of view. This may have begun in Elizabethan times and extended through later eras for many different reasons.

Many also relate the construction of the famous Newport Tower to interests associated with Henry Sinclair the Earl of Orkney during the late fourteenth Century. Our examination here may display how this legend was propagated due to his relation to the people that had actually came to North America long ago and had established L’ Anse Aux Meadows. It appears that Henry Sinclair had both a political and genetic link to to the Norse Sagas that describes what may have been L’ Anse Aux Meadows long ago. Evidence provided here will show how this secret chain of information was transferred via the title of the Earl of Orkney in its many forms and used later as a rationale for an English claim to North America. Through all the national and political changes the earldom has survived and retained a kind of ownership of this legacy that would ultimately help to solidify England’s claim to New England and Virginia.

This story will also illustrate how the Newport Tower was built in Elizabethan times in an attempt to make it appear as if people had claimed New England for Scandinavian rulers whose mantle of power would later fall to the Scottish and ultimately the English monarchy. The entire story of the Lord High Admiral of Scotland Henry Sinclair coming to America may have been meant to bolster the theory that his forebears had been the ones that had established a Norse foothold in North America in an era prior to the discovery of L’ Anse Aux Meadows. Given Sinclair’s title of Lord High Admiral of Scotland it is unlikely that he would desert the homeland to explore unknown lands when his duty lay with his country’s navy at that time. The Newport Tower is often pointed to as proof these stories are true and that a Norseman had constructed the tower at an early date thus establishing their claim. 

No matter the truth of the Newport Tower why is it that there is no record of its existence by settlers of the region prior to its mention by Benedict Arnold Sr. as his “stone built windmill?” No Plymouth colonists or other early settlers made their way to what is Newport today at that time? As stated earlier there is no mention of the Tower by earlier English explorers such as Captains Archer and Gosnold who spent an extended period within sight of the Newport Tower and yet did not record its existence in any way. How and why if this tower is ancient would it have been kept a secret or covered up? Most of the evidence that there was ever a tower at Newport at an earlier date is tied to unreliable maps that have been in many ways misinterpreted and repeated by subsequent cartographers that never even visited the region themselves. The “Zeno Map” often touted as evidence of the Newport Tower’s antiquity records a “Normanville” with a map symbol for a settlement that includes a tower for example. Note also that Normanville is a town name and not an indication of anything more or less.

It may also be considered that this faction considered the establishment of L’ Anse Aux Meadows as representative of their claim to the entire continent. Is it possible that this strange tower in Newport located on Mill street was only a windmill that had later been spun into a story of Norse construction by those that wished to support the notion of Norumbega or English claim to the region? Is the Newport Tower representative of a Norse Round Kirk or a form of architecture commonly seen as a windmill in England and Europe? Or had the tower been built to resemble a Norse structure intentionally? As this story unfolds it may also become obvious that the mysteries of Rosslyn Chapel may also reference Leif Erikson’s voyages to North America and not any possible trip by later people. None of these assumptions alter the notion that the tower was built by Elizabethan factions in order to establish their claim to New England using Star Castle on the Isles of Scilly as a datum or place from which to measure thus also establishing a prime meridian at both places.

These ideas may have been followed by the misguided notion that later Crusader era Knighthoods or Chivalric orders may have also later came at a date prior to the voyages of Columbus thus furthering the English claim to North America. Is it also possible that later suggestions of medieval exploration of North America had also been placed by this same group of wishful thinkers? In truth we will see how Knighthoods such as the Orders of the Garter, Bath, and Thistle had more influence on these dynamics at a much later date thus creating the entire seed of what people like Horsford and Longfellow would later come to believe.

In order to understand this entire scheme or plan an examination of the rich and varied history of the title of the Earl of Orkney. In turn this study will include the use of an amazing prime meridian centered on the famous Rosslyn Chapel. In this way Rosslyn may actually live up to what many consider a misnomer as representative of the “Rosslyn,” Roseline, or Prime Meridian similar to what we see in the famous Paris Meridian. This meridian may have been originally established by the construction of the Oriphir Round Kirk (Church) in Orkney in a circular form based on the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.

The Orphir Round Church and Rosslyn Chapel are due north and south of each other 180/0 degrees true north. An examination of the family and titles involved in the construction of both chapels some undeniable truths are exposed. Rosslyn Chapel may be showing us what happened in the Norse sagas that include the exploits of Leif Erikson and others and not a trip to North America by Henry Sinclair or any other member of that family prior to what is recorded in common history.

The story of both Rosslyn Chapel and the Orphir Round Kirk expose some interesting factors in any story of Norse exploration of North America. These events take place only about one hundred years after the settlement of L’ Anse Aux Meadows and their possible mention in associated Sagas. The entire legacy of Orkney in this story may in turn link us directly to the true nature of the Newport Tower, Powder Magazine in Colonial Williamsburg, The International Peace Garden, as well as the Kensington Rune.

During the earliest historical times of Orkney is was part of the Kingdom of Norway and the Earls of Orkney were of Scandinavian blood. This would be true until the time of Earl William Sinclair who built Rosslyn Chapel. The Orphir Round Church was built by Earl Hakon (Haakon) Paulsson in about 1124 A.D. Haakon built the church as part of his penance for murdering the joint Earl of Orkney at that time named Magnus Erlandsson.

In a foreshadowing of the same religious and political dispute that would create the United States Haakon and Magnus were separated by matters of faith and politics. Magnus was more oriented with the Catholic church while Haakon seemed to have still valued elements of the former Norse Pagan culture. The slaying of Magnus by Haakon in a church also strangely resembles the story of Robert the Bruce slaying his rival on the altar of a church.

As penance for the slaying of Magnus Haakon went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem and returned to built the Orphir Round Kirk in the form of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. The Kirk is also known as the St. Nicholas Chapel thus named by the Earl himself. The Orphir Round Church is circular in form and includes and apse that extended from its southeast side. The apse is all that remains of the structure today as it was inexplicably demolished in the eighteenth century. The Round Kirk is surrounded by an extensive graveyard. Adjacent to the Church was the “Bu” or hall of the Earl.

Since Magnus had been more associated with the Latin Church and had been slain by Earl Haakon he was eventually given sainthood status and a grand cathedral in Kirkwall was built in his name. Both of these structures and their history would be intertwined with that of all the Earls of Orkney, Royalty of Norway and Denmark, Scottish royalty and of course English monarchs and gentry. Even the story of Mary Queen of Scots, St. Magnus Cathedral, and the Earl of Orkney are related. The history of the the Chapel of St. Nicholas or Orphir Round Kirk may also have a direct bearing on why the Newport Tower was later presented to the public at large as a manifestation of Norse culture and not the English culture that had produced it.

The succession of the title of the Earl of Orkney always included members that had a direct blood line to the original Norwegian Earl of Orkney and this includes some amazing people whose families would later have a major impact on the development of Newport Rhode Island and any value of the Newport Tower in their family tradition. Here we have an early Earl of Orkney building a Round Kirk design that many would later relate to the form of the Newport Tower. Starting with the Norwegian Earls of Orkney the title then goes to the Scottish Earls under the Norwegian crown. Eventually Orkney was gained by Scotland via James III marriage to Margaret of Denmark as part of her dowry. When her father Christian I of Denmark did not pay the specified dowry the Orkney Islands were ceded to him as part of the agreement. Here displayed is yet one example of the strong ties between Scottish and Danish nobility through time. Later we would even see the son of Mary Queen of Scots James I marry Anne of Denmark. Many speculate that Queen Anne of Denmark had a large and somewhat overlooked role in the kind of Baconian mysteries of he day.

When the Orkney’s were given to James III the Earl of Orkney was William Sinclair who is famous as the builder of Rosslyn Chapel. This entire incident involving the dowry of Margaret may be the real reason Rosslyn was ever built where it was. As a result of this change from Norwegian to Scottish influence William Sinclair was made the Earl of Caithness and given the lands that Rosslyn would be built on as compensation. These parts of the story now solidly link the further association of the Sinclair family with that of Scotland while still holding very strong connections to Scandinavia via their family and Queen of Scotland Margaret of Denmark.

There are many associations with between the Sinclair family and the Orkney Islands through time even prior to the era of William Sinclair. Later the story of Bishop Honeyman of St. Magnus Kirkwall in the seventeenth century is tied to the legacy of the Stewart and Sinclair families via his marriage to Mary Stewart. In turn we will see a Rev. Honeyman of Newport Rhode Island playing a role later in this saga.

Again we must consider the fact that what is being exposed here is the original “Rosslyne” or Rose Line. The familial and cultural connections between Haakon Paulsson and William Sinclair are very strong and include a legacy of the tradition of building family chapels. These chapels always include representative art and motif that display the allegiances and beliefs of the churches benefactor. This is the case at Rosslyn Chapel done in grand style. The Orphir Chapel of St. Nicholas is due north of Rosslyn Chapel and was also said to have included representative artwork. These two structures create a “Rosslyn” due to their spatial relationship arranged along a line of latitude on the globe with regard to the polar axis of the earth. The Earl of Sinclair William had paid his respects to a forebear by aligning his structure with an early chapel that also served as a marker for a prime meridian. It is entirely possible that the site for the construction of Rosslyn Chapel was dictated by its geographic relationship along the “Rosslyn” in relation to the Orphir Round Kirk of Orkney.

This is also the story being related at places like the Newport Tower and Powder Magazine of Colonial Williamsburg that both also have strong ties to subsequent earls of orkney that even held title during the periods in which the common history tells us these structures were created. Both of these structures have been discussed in depth in my last book “The Geographic Mysteries of Sir Francis Bacon.”

During the eras in which places like the Orphir Round Kirk and Rosslyn Chapel were being built family ties and an appreciation of one’s heritage would be displayed at a family chapel or church. If a member of a specific family was successful enough then they may have chosen to express their dedication to Christian spirituality in this manner. This may also be the case in other cultures and religions. Often these churches were funded by specific individuals that also may have dictated the themes of artwork and salutary included. Though many speculate as to the involvement of Freemason’s or Chivalric Orders such as the Knights Templar at Rosslyn a closer examination may reveal that William Sinclair was telling us about his family’s history at Rosslyn and not an over reaching symbolism such as many modern interpretations imply. Given this it is not out of the question that he had somehow obtained the location where Rosslyn would be built because he knew it was associated with Orphir in a north to south meridian.

This may also suggest that William Sinclair held a belief that Earl Haakon had also held knowledge of the use of a prime meridian and had built his church to illustrate this notion. The early 12th century construction date (1124 estimated) is 124 years after one of the commonly accepted dates for the advent of the magnetic compass in 1000 A.D. Given this it is not out of the question that learned men could arrange buildings along a fixed line of longitude using astronomical calculations coupled with the compass and sighting the pole star even somewhat prior to that date. Yet that is not in question here as even the Round Kirk was built after 1000 A.D.


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