Magnificent Ushaw College

I was given the opportunity to take photographs around the former Roman Catholic seminary at Ushaw that once served the whole of the North of England. The buildings and grounds that are part of this huge site are now being put to a number of uses, not least as one of the region’s newest cultural and historic visitor attractions.

The stunning interior of St Cuthbert’s Chapel at Ushaw College, near Durham…

The college was founded back in 1808 by scholars from the English College, Douai, who had fled from France following the French Revolution. In the late 1960’s, Ushaw College was affiliated with Durham University of Durham. However, in later years a decision was taken to close the seminary due to the shortage of vocations. Ushaw ceased being a seminary in 2011 and the buildings and grounds are now maintained by a charitable trust.

The college’s chapels and principal rooms, along with a tearoom in the college refectory, are open to the public Wednesday to Saturday 11am to 4pm. There is also a well stocked gift shop and beautiful gardens. Car parking at Ushaw is free.

Heavens above – lying flat on my back and using a tripod to ensure my camera captured the amazing symmetry, this was the view looking straight up at the soaring ceiling of St Cuthbert’s Chapel…
This somewhat imposing bronze eagle forms part of a lecturn in the St Cuthbert’s Chapel. I thought it wouldn’t look out of place as a scene from Hogwarts in one of the Harry Potter movies!
After the college closed as a seminary, the gardens were neglected for quite some time, but they are now once again looking pretty amazing, thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers…
Many hands and all that – some of the volunteer gardeners who meet every week at Ushaw College to help maintain the glorious gardens…