Catholic church transfer ownership of Scottish 'modernist' ruin after years of trying to be rid of it

The building, which was built as a training school for Roman Catholic priests, is A-listed, but has been subject to bouts of severe vandalism and fire damage.

A modernist building owned by the Catholic church, which once described it as “an albatross around our neck,” has finally changed hands after years of the organisation trying to get rid of it.

The St Peter's Seminary in Cardross, near Helensburgh, will now be taken care of by new charity Kilmahew Education Trust which became the new legal owners as of Friday.

The A-listed building, which was built as a training college for Roman Catholic priests, closed in the 1970s and has since fallen into disrepair after years of failed attempts to revive it.

St. Peter's Seminary Cardross - it was built by modernist architects Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein

The Archdiocese of Glasgow, who officially announced its new owners today, has been trying to find someone to take the building on for decades and last year said it would probably have to remain a ruin.

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, the Archbishop of Glasgow, said: "This is a good day for the Archdiocese, for the local area, and, I hope, for the wider Scottish community.

"Times were very different when St Peter's Seminary was opened in the late 1960s to wide architectural acclaim.

"Changing requirements in priestly education, a drop in the number of seminarians and difficulties in maintaining the fabric of the building mean that the seminary had

The seminary, which is surrounded by acres of woodland, was built in 1966 as a training college for Roman Catholic priests.

a relatively short lifespan.

"For four decades the archdiocese has sought a new owner for the site, and finally a solution has been found.

"I wish the new owners every success as they develop the site and move forward to a new chapter in the history of the seminary and its estate."

Stuart Cotton, of the new charitable trust, added: "The trust is delighted to take up the many challenges that exist on the Kilmahew Estate and is grateful to the

Archdiocese of Glasgow for its outstanding support over the last year in facilitating the transfer of ownership and for trusting us with the honour of becoming the next

custodians of this outstanding and unique heritage asset.

"It goes without saying that the Kilmahew Estate and St Peter's Seminary are of significant historical importance to the Scottish public and we are acutely aware of just

how many diverse groups are stakeholders, including the local Cardross community, Historic Environment Scotland and the Scottish Government.

"The next few months will see us developing relationships with these and other stakeholders and presenting our vision for Kilmahew alongside our expert team."

Despite being recognised as an A-listed building by Historic Scotland in 1992, the “modernist masterpiece” has been subject to bouts of severe damage including fire, rain and vandalism.

Yet architecture students and building experts from around the world continue to visit it regularly.

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