DiCamillo Companion

Kilmahew House (Kilmahew Castle)

  • Built / Designed For: James Burns

    House & Family History: After World War II the Kilmahew Estate was sold to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Glasgow, who, in 1961, hired the firm of Gillespie, Kidd & Coia to design St. Peter's Seminary on the Estate. As developed, Kilmahew House became one side of a quadrangle in an interesting juxtaposition: a screamingly Brutalist addition (very much in the style of Le Corbusier) to a 19th century Scottish Baronial house. The old house was used for professional accommodation, while the new addition provided classrooms, a sanctuary, and a convent. In February 1980 the seminary closed (because of a decline in candidates entering the priesthood) and the buildings became a drug rehabilitation center. Because of ongoing problems with leaks and other maintenance issues (all of which were issues since the building was first opened), the new building was abandoned and the drug center moved into the old Kilmahew House, which, ironically, was in much better condition. By the end of the 1980s the drug rehabilitation center had closed and all buildings in the complex were abandoned. In 1995 Kilmahew House was so severely damaged in a fire (probably caused by vandals), that the House had to be demolished. The 1960s seminary building is considered one of the most important examples of modernist architecture in Scotland. It was Category A listed by Historic Scotland in 1992; in 2005 it was named Scotland's greatest post-World War II building by the architecture magazine “Prospect;” and in June 2007 the seminary was included in the World Monuments Fund's 100 Most Endangered Sites list for 2008.

  • Architect: Frank Burnet

    Date: 1865-68
    Designed: House for James Burns

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  • House Listed: Demolished

    Park Listed: Not Listed

  • Past Seat / Home of: James Burns, 19th century. Allan family, 20th century.

    Current Ownership Type: Demolished

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Demolished

  • House Open to Public: No

    Historic Houses Member: No