About 20 miles west of Glasgow lies a modern ruin. St Peter’s Seminary was built only 50 years ago, yet by the 1990s it was derelict. However, plans to breathe new life into the building are now close to being realised.
The concrete ghost is hidden in woods on the north side of the River Clyde – the shell of an ambitious 1960s modernist building which the Catholic Church had planned to use to train 100 novice priests.
But the seminary – at the back of a golf course on the edge of the village of Cardross – was built in changing times. The Church would soon shift away from training priests in seclusion, instead placing them in the community.
The inauguration ceremony was held on St Andrew’s Day 1966.
At the ceremony, the Archbishop of Glasgow James Scanlan commented on the “unique edifice… of such architectural distinction as to merit the highest praise from the most qualified judges”.
But by the 2000s, the same space would be in ruins.
The post-war years saw the break-up of many of the traditionally Catholic areas in Glasgow – as sections of the old inner city were demolished and people moved into new high-rise homes or out to new towns like East Kilbride or Cumbernauld. […]