CollectionGB 3380 Scottish Catholic Archives, Historic Archives
Ref NoSCA CS/5
TitleSt Peters College
Extent2 files; 0 vols; 0.002m
Creator NameThe Roman Catholic institution of St. Peter's College
Administrative HistoryThe origins of St. Peters College date from 1874, when the seminary officially opened at the original site on Patrickhill in Glasgow, although there had been attempts to create a seminary once the new western district of Scotland was established in 1829. The idea to institute a western college to instruct the youth of the western district was proposed by Bishop Murdoch in 1850 but the influx of Irish Catholics into the region of Glasgow forced the plan to be abandoned, to construct four new churches to serve the faithful. It was Bishop Murdochs successor, Archbishop Eyre that made the vision of a western seminary a reality, by purchasing a tract of land at Patrickhill, where two large adjoined houses stood. It was here that St. Peters College attained its beginning.
When studying the emergence of the college, it became clear that Archbishop Eyre was the principle figure in its creation. The price of the land at Patrickhill totalled 3,000, a large sum, which came from the personal account of Archbishop Eyre. The western clergy also contributed, gathering donations from their parishioners to the sum of 1,000. The rest of the funds were gathered by conducting a week long bazaar, on the orders of the Archbishop. Through these methods the Archbishop was able to raise enough money to acquire the land and houses at Patrickhill, where St. Peters College would remain for eighteen years.
The College moved from Patrickhill to New Kilpatrick Bearnsden on the 29th of March, 1892, because the building there was larger and more capable of suiting the needs of the growing college. The plan to move the college was, again, the idea of Archbishop Eyre, whose recently acquired inheritance proved vital in the purchasing of the land and the erecting of the seminary building. The building was designed by P.P. Pugin specifically for the western district college, at the behest of the Archbishop, to meet the needs of the seventeen students and four teachers that were members of the St. Peters family at the time. Originally only the main building stood, with the others being added over time, largely through the funds bequeathed to the college after the passing of Archbishop Eyre. Bearnsden proved to be the ideal home for the college; however, due to damages sustained during a fire in 1946, the institution was forced to relocate once more, to a smaller less suitable location at Daleith.
The move to Daleith occurred in 1946, and was one that the members of the seminary would have chosen to avoid. The college was located in the pleasant upland country that separates Loch Lomond from The Clyde. The College here became known as St. Peters College Cardross. When they first moved into the new college building it was three floors and less than one sixth the size of the college at Bearsden. Many believed that it lacked the spaciousness of the house at Bearsden along with the sense of home, but over time these issues were rectified. In 1948 it was extended to Kilmahew house, a nineteenth century baronial mansion. In 1953, the architects Gillespie Kidd and Coia were commissioned to design a substantial extension to Kilmahew House. Construction commenced in 1961, opening to the first trainee priests in 1966, and by 1968 the building was fully completed. By 1968 the colleges new site consisted of five attached buildings that were ideal to suit the needs of the western district students, bound for the priesthood. The college at this site once more suffered the fate of its predecessors and closed down officially in 1980 due to the limited number of enrolled priests. On average in the 1970s the institution at Daleith was only half full. This large decline forced the college to relocate to its new location in the Newlands of Glasgow. It was later amalgamated with the Diocesian Pastoral center that had been established in 1983. Together they became known as the St. Peters Pastoral and Retreat Center. This institution subsequently closed down in 1996. Despite the constant relocation of the college, St. Peters played a crucial role in educating Catholic priest before and after the restoration of the Hierarchy in 1878. St. Peters College Rectors:
The Very Rev. John McLachlan (1874-1878)
The Very Rev. Angus MacFarlance (1878-1880)
The Very Rev. William Canon Caven (1880-1896)
The Very Rev. Donald Canon Carmichael (1896-1902)
The Most Rev. John Aloysius Maguire (1902-1914)
The Right Rev. Henry Canon Forbes (1914-1945)
The Right Rev. Charles Treanor (1945-1963)
The Very Rev. Michael J. Canon Connolly (1963-1972)
The Very Rev. James McMahon (1973-1980)
The Very Rev. Maurice Ward (1981-1984) In 1985 St. Peters College amalgamated with the Diocesan Pastoral Center that was created in 1983. Together they became the St. Peters Pastoral and Retreat Center. Directors of the Pastoral Center:
Rev. Hugh McEwan (1985-1988)
Rev. Angus MacDonald (1989-1991)
Sister Jean Searson (1992-1993)
Ms. Oonagh Kelly (1994-1995)
DescriptionFinances for St. Peters College; Finances for the Western District seminary; Report of the receipts and expenditure on Account of St. Peters College; Constitution and Rules
Access StatusOpen
Closed Until01/01/2011
OriginalsThis is the original copy
CopiesThere are no known copies
Publication NoteSt. Peters College Register, 1874-1946. KB/8/34/1; Anon. The Story of the College. St. Peterss College Magazine, vol. 15, no. 58; Rev. Michael Canon Connolly, The New St. Peters College. St. Peters College Magazine, vol. 27, no. 107 (Dec. 1966): 131-135;
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