Blairs College

Not to be confused with Blair College.
Sunset at Blairs College in 2001.

St Mary's College, Blairs (commonly known as Blairs College), situated near Aberdeen in Scotland, was from 1829 to 1986 a junior seminary for boys and young men studying for the Roman Catholic priesthood.[1] Part of the former college now houses Blairs Museum, the museum of Scotland's Catholic heritage.[2] The New Chapel is a Category A listed building, with the other buildings listed as Category B.[3]


Lying on the south bank of the River Dee, between Kirkton of Maryculter and Aberdeen, the land on which the seminary was built was originally owned by the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem, before passing to the Menzies family in 1542. In 1827 the land was donated to the Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, and the original building, Menzies House, converted into a seminary for 25 pupils. In 1829, Lismore Seminary and Aquhorthies College were merged, then closed and the students to moved to Blairs College.

As well as the Blairs Museum, the site also hosts the Blairs Library. It is a collection of 27,000 books concerning Scottish Catholic history. In 2012, it was proposed that the collection be moved to Aberdeen University Library.[4] In 2012, the site was also proposed by Muir Homes to be made into a housing development.[5]

Furthermore, after the college was closed in 1986, the chapel still continues to be used as a place of worship. There is one Sunday Mass in the chapel every week at 9:30am.[6]

See also


  1. "Regeneration and Renewal of Blairs College" (PDF). The Muir Group. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  2. "Blairs College". Blairs Museum. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  3. Aberdeen from British Listed Buildings, retrieved 15 June 2016
  4. Michael Turnbull, Why dispersing archives will rip the heart out of Scottish Catholic history from Herald Scotland, 3 July 2012, retrieved 15 June 2016
  5. Frank Urquhart, Plans for Blairs Seminary redevelopment revealed from The Scotsman, 23 October 2013, retrieved 15 June 2016
  6. Parishes from Diocese of Aberdeen, retrieved 15 June 2016

External links

Coordinates: 57°05′53″N 2°11′41″W / 57.098028°N 2.194735°W / 57.098028; -2.194735

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