Situated at Cardross on the Clyde near Helensburgh, Kilmahew is a much-altered tower house of the 15th century.
Kilmahew Old Castle photographed in 1904
In the 19th century its ruins were adapted as a landscape feature for an adjacent mansion – since demolished – and ‘romanticised’ in the spirit of the times.
In 1966 St Peter’s, a seminary for Catholic priests, was opened in its grounds only to close its doors in 1980 due to a lack of vocations. It was then allowed to decay and became a playground for vandals.
Scotland’s ‘most lauded modern building’ St Peter’s has always been a favourite of the architectural profession – though not necessarily of the general public – and they have long lobbied for its restoration.
St Peter’s has recently been granted £4.2million by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Creative Scotland to transform it – along with its grounds and castle – for future use.
So, thanks to a modern icon, Kilmahew, too, has a future.
The remains of Kilmahew as they stand today
Article by SCA member Brian McGarrigle.