Photos of St Joseph’s Seminary Wigan


St joseph’s Seminary is located Walthew Park in Upholland, Wigan and is a former Roman Catholic Seminary which started to be built in 1880 and opened in 1883. The building has recently been unconsecrated.

The Seminary flourished until the early 1960s, but a sharp drop in enrollment meant that the northern bishops were forced to consolidate the activities of St Joseph’s in Upholland and Ushaw, with all junior seminarians in the north attending  St Josephs and all senior seminarians attending Ushaw.

As enrollment continued to decline it became a boarding school for boys considering a vacation.

In 1986 the total number of students was down to 82, of whom only 54 were Church students, and it was no longer viable to educate them on the premises. From 1987 the remaining students attended St. John Rigby College in nearby Orrell for their schooling, an arrangement that continued until the very last of these students left Upholland in 1992.

taken from Wikipedia

Our Day out at St. Joseph’s

We’d heard about St Joseph’s Seminary through an urban photography website and wanted to check it out while it was still there, so we went down with a Google map in hand.

We realised that getting in through the front entrance was a no go with security and CCTV at the gate. We drove on along the road until we found a public footpath, at which point we parked up and followed the path, which luckily brought us to the back of the Seminary. There were no walls to climb, we just walked into the grounds.

We don’t go to these kind of places intending to cause any damage, but merely take photographs.

Having walked around for a couple of hours we were approached by a security guard who was very helpful in providing some information about the building before leaving us to continue walk around the grounds.

The shear size of the place is very impressive, but just a shame it is being allowed to deteriorate so much. We were told that the building was intended to be used for luxury apartments but that the owners had run out of funding. Lets hope it gets done sooner rather than later before it becomes to late to save it.