A LOCAL author is hoping his new book on the mysteries hidden within one of the area's most iconic buildings will spark a tourism boom.

James Coghlan's 'Decoding Skelmorlie Aisle' delves into the meanings behind the symbols and artwork that adorn the architecture of the structure - claiming they provide a direct link to the Rosslyn Chapel made famous in Dan Brown's blockbuster novel, 'The Da Vinci Code'.

The Largs man is hoping his own work will encouraging tourists to visit the mausoleum which was built for the 7th Laird of Skelmorlie Castle, Sir Robert Montgomerie and his wife Dame Margaret Douglas.

James believes that the intricate symbols provide hidden clues left by artist J Stalker and Sir Robert Montgomerie.

He said: "The symbolism and decoration of the Aisle testifies to the love Sir Robert Montgomerie had for his wife, the people of the district, his faith and also Freemasonry.

"It all encompasses law, science and references to Scottish and English parliamentary history.

"It is an incredible feat - and I explain in the book how it all points to the Rosslyn Chapel. I hope through this link, that Largs can also benefit.

"The Skelmorlie Aisle is a truly amazing building which has survived centuries - and all these secrets have stayed there since it was built - and can now be revealed."

James said that Stalker went to great lengths in order to get some of the obscure symbolism into the Skelmorlie Aisle - and believes he has cracked a code which includes links to Jesus, Moses and the Pharoahs.

James admitted that he was enthralled himself when he discovered some of the complexities hidden in the interior and exterior of the building, which includes paintings of Largs from 500 years ago.

He said: "The Skelmorlie Aisle has all these amazing symbols and links to world science, history and astronomy, and at its heart, is Largs.

"The book isn't about me - it is about an incredible building and all I have done is help unlock some of the amazing symbols and stories from within."

He said: "The hidden treasure proves the history of Jerusalem and the Bible, as well as a considerable wealth of information which has been coded into the paintings.

"It is a hidden treasure within a timeless love story of cultures from around and across the world.

"It basically has the history of civilisation in one ceiling.

"As those who followed the Da Vinci Code book and movie no doubt know, all paths lead to Rosslyn and I explain the links in my book."

The book, written under the pseudonym D Knight, is available to buy at www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Decoding-Skelmorlie-Aisle-/264406696784

The Aisle feature in the forthcoming Doors Open Day weekend in Largs on 7 and 8 September.