LIVERPOOL (UNITED KINGDOM)
Liverpool Echo [Liverpool, England]
March 28, 2021
By Kate McMullin
In one picture a rat is preserved on a windowsill in one of the bedroom quarters of a student
These haunting pictures offer a glimpse inside an abandoned Catholic seminary which has been shrouded by shocking allegations of abuse.
St Joseph’s Seminary, in Upholland near Skelmersdale, was opened in 1883 and was open for more than 100 years.
However it has now been over 30 years since it closed its doors to the last pupils in 1992.
In recent years shocking allegations have come to light regarding the abuse of boys who were preyed upon by perverted priests.
And at least three Catholic priests have been accused of abusing children at the facility, with several pupils having reported horrifying mistreatment at the hands of clergy who they should have been able to trust.
Former Darlington parish priest Michael Higginbottom was one of those who was jailed for 18 years for the sexual abuse of two boys in the 1970s and 80s at the college.
The college now lies in rack and ruin but urban explorers have over the years taken pictures to show how the interior looks.
The desks where pupils once sat are now rotten and left strewn across a deserted classroom, blanketed in mould.
Meanwhile a table, in what looks like a parlour room, is set with plates which are now covered in dust – the cutlery still set out neatly.
Scott Bradley explored the neglected building a couple of years ago and said he came across some “strange sights” within the creepy walls.
The IT technician, from Manchester, said photography is a passion of his and he has his own Facebook page Phukin Photo’s by Scott Bradley.
The 36-year-old previously told the ECHO in 2019: “There were some really strange rooms.
“One had like a steel door on it with a lock and inside was a mattress and metal bed frame.
“I have no idea what that room was used for.
“That was a bit creepy.
“There were a lot of sewing machines and in what looked like a music hall there was an old organ.
Haunting pictures taken inside the building show how it has been frozen in time, within the Victorian structure.
In one harrowing picture a rat can be seen preserved on a leaf-covered windowsill – it’s teeth still intact and its tail trailing behind it.
In one room, a metal bed frame stands in front of a windowsill – and the property was once home to dormitories where pupils would stay.
A narrow corridor in another image is in a state of ruin with paper peeling off the wall and the ceiling showing the exposed beam work, highlighting the state of the building.
Meanwhile a room which looks as though it was once used as a classroom is now awash with mould, which covers the desk tops and chairs.
The 153 acres of land look well maintained in this picture, which was taken a few years back (Image: Scott Bradley)
In the same room curtains hang limply from the windows and a section of the wallpaper in an orange and red pattern is visible.
Another picture shows a room which is completely unrecognisable after being reclaimed by the nature outside – however the ornate windows show its former glory.
A tall, narrow, spiral staircase stands in the middle of one room, surrounded by bookcases, now empty.
The staircase leads high up into an annex of the school, which is decked out with shelves on every wall.
In a pantry there are still kitchen utensils on the dusty shelves – including glass jars and a basket which has ‘Heinz tomato ketchup’ printed on the side.
An organ now sits alone in a room which appears to have once been a music hall, while in another room a sewing machine offers w window back to a different era of education.
A number of religious statues stand guard around the 153 acres that make up the seminary, looking from the roof tops of the building.
The college looks more like a fortress than a school, complete with watchtowers and battlements.