The Concrete and the Divine

I changed my routine this morning. As usual on a Saturday I fleetingly toyed with the idea of joining my local park run for a refreshing 5K jog around my local park, but as usual lethargy overcame my momentary enthusiasm. Instead as usual, I went for my morning bath, a leisurely soak while catching up on the latest edition of “That Peter Crouch podcast”. Except Peter Crouch didn’t join me in the bath, I got distracted by a podcast about another Peter – St Peters Seminary in Cardross (link below).

The Seminary is an amazing building, built in 1966 for the Archdiocese of Glasgow. Archbishop Scanlon told the architects from Gillespie, Kidd & Coia, that he didn’t want “any of that modern stuff; I want a traditional Seminary”. What he ended up with was a brutalist concrete building and one of the most impressive post-war modernist structures.

Unfortunately, 14 years after its construction, it closed; the sweeping reforms of Vatican 2 making the Seminary redundant.

Today, the building lies in ruins, despite recent attempts to use lottery funding to start its resurrection.

St Peter’s Seminary today

However, anybody that’s visited Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire knows that being a derelict religous building doesn’t have to mean the end of your useful life and I quite like the idea of it lying in ruins, wood components rotting away, a modern monument to the durability of concrete.

Fountains Abbey – beautifully derelict

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