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Conservation Assessment for St Peter's Seminary

12 January 2007

The Archdiocese of Glasgow has appointed conservation specialists to investigate possibilities for the long term future of A-listed St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross.

The Archdiocese of Glasgow, Argyll and Bute Council, and Historic Scotland are working in partnership to investigate the long term future of the site. The 20th century conservation specialists Avanti Architects have been contracted by the Archdiocese to look closely at how development on another part of the site might cross fund the consolidation, partial or complete re-use of the complex and to identify any financial shortfall in such a scheme. The aim of the study is to set down the options for the long term future of this celebrated Modern Scottish icon.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Glasgow said:

"The Conservation Assessment will try and achieve a consensus among all interested parties on the issue of the conservation and consolidation of the seminary complex. It will also set out what will be required to meaningfully maintain the consolidated structure. This will allow an informed assessment of the amount of enabling development required to ensure a realistic future for the seminary complex."

Malcolm Cooper, chief inspector with Historic Scotland explained why the agency is funding the assessment:

“The importance of St Peter’s is undeniable and I am pleased Historic Scotland has been able to fund this conservation assessment. This conservation assessment will allow the key partners to take decisions regarding the future of the building on an informed basis, drawing on the knowledge and expertise of this specialist organisation. We look forward to working  with the owners and the local authority, to find the best solution for a structure we regard as one of the most challenging in Scotland.”

Angus Gilmour, head of planning with Argyll and Bute Council, said:

“We are happy that the applicants have agreed to continue consideration of the current planning and listed building applications to allow for the conservation assessments which will hopefully establish what needs to be done to the seminary and its curtilage and hopefully allow for a sustainable solution.”

The A-listed former St Peter’s Seminary at Cardross is one of Scotland’s most important 20th century historic buildings. It was commissioned by the Archdiocese of Glasgow and built in the early 1960s as a state-of-the-art residential college and designed by one of the UK’s most innovative architectural practices, Gillespie Kidd and Coia. The RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Gold Medal  winning design wrapped the strikingly modern new facilities in a courtyard format around a historic building in the beautiful designed landscape around Kilmahew House.

In a relatively short time after its opening, changing educational practices in the training of priests meant that the building became surplus to the church’s requirements. Despite strenuous efforts over many years, no viable re-use for this important site has been found.

Notes to editors

  • This news release has been issued on behalf of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, Argyll and Bute Council and Historic Scotland.

  • The total cost of the conservation assessment will be over £70,000, and will take up to 6 months to complete.

For more information please contact:

  • Ronnie Convery, Archdiocese of Glasgow. Tel: 0141 226 5898
  • Lesley Brown, Historic Scotland. Tel: 0131 668 8603
  • Aileen MacLennan, Argyll & Bute Council. Tel: 01546 602127

For further information

Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07788 923873