Notre Dame College/St Andrews College, Bearsden

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Notre Dame College/St Andrews College, Bearsden

Postby Strike Team » Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:24 am

I took a wee wander with the camera around St Andrews College a couple of months ago.

This description is taken from Risky Buildings

St. Andrew’s College (formerly Notre Dame College)

Bearsden, Scotland
Gillespie Kidd and Coia, 1968-9
5 Student Residential Blocks (Listed Category A) and 3 Teaching Blocks (unlisted)

The buildings of St. Andrew’s College are intimately linked to the history of St Peter’s Catholic Seminary; when in 1966 the priest seminary moved from Bearsden to its new side near Cardross, the Archdiocese of Glasgow built in its stead new teacher training facilities. Those were designed by the same architects who had drawn up the plans for St Peters, the firm of Gillespie Kidd and Coia (GKC). For Bearsden GKC designed two teaching blocks, a physical education building, and five student accommodation buildings. The buildings are built on a U-shaped footprint, embracing a steeply sloping site with the teaching blocks occupying the lower part and the listed accommodation blocks towering high above, allowing for far reaching views.

In 1969 the complex opened, then under the name of Notre Dame College. In 1981 it merged with Craiglockhart College and became a national Roman Catholic teacher training college; it was then that it received its new name St Andrews College. In 1998, the five residential blocks were listed at Category A. Amalgamation with Glasgow University in 1999 and the following relocation of teaching in 2002 to Glasgow meant that the Bearsden site was declared surplus to university requirements. The accommodation buildings are now boarded up while the teaching blocks are partially occupied by small businesses.


These are my pictures:

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Accommodation block seen from Stockiemuir Road

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Gatehouse beside the Duntocher Road entrance

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One of the teaching buildings

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The bridge linking the two teaching buildings

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This pillar looks like it was part of an earlier building

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One of the back row of accommodation blocks

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The front row of accommodation buildings, vieed from behind

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The road running between the two rows of accommodation buildings

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Back row of accommodation buildings

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These flashing lights on poles intrigued always me when I was a kid. I reckon they are fire alarm indicators

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Stairs leading down to the teaching block, between two of the front row of accommodation buildings

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Back row of accommodation buildings

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Back door to one of the front row of buildings

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Entrance to one of the back row buildings

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Front row of accommodation buildings

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Front row again

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Entrance to front row building

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View looking up the hill

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Another view of the front row
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Postby elgee » Tue Jan 23, 2007 9:13 am

RE St Andrews- does anybody know what is planned for this place ? Been empty a while now. I just hope it is not left to rot
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Postby Socceroo » Tue Jan 23, 2007 9:27 am

It is ripe Real Estate Land. I saw something in the Herald over a year ago about it. There was talk of trying to flatten the low rise buildings and keep one of the bigger buildings i think.

I'll need to see what i can find out from a developer i know who does some work in Bearsden / Milngavie but not on that scale.
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Postby Ally Doll » Tue Jan 23, 2007 9:55 am

Interesting pictures Strike Team! 8) It'd be a shame to lose something so unusual.
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Postby Socceroo » Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:01 am

It would still make a great halls of residence if it was done up. I suppose you would need to put on transport into the Colleges and Universities in the City.

I don't know what else you could use it for, Sheltered Accommodation for rich Bearsden Grannies and Granpa's?

Or knock out a few internal walls and make Apartments?

They are Category A listed so here's hoping.

Anyone know how long they have been lying empty?
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Postby allyharp » Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:06 am

It supposed to be becoming the new Bearsden Academy. I would guess the existing buildings would be flattened and a new school built in its place. The listed boxes would remain of course.

I think this is correct anyway. I live nearby and keep getting leaflets about our chance to vote on what happens, and then whether it's going ahead or not but we've not got much interest in it so haven't been paying attention.
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Postby allyharp » Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:10 am

Socceroo wrote:Anyone know how long they have been lying empty?

When I was just starting 5th year (2002) we had our 5th year conference at St Andrews College, as it was held every year. When it came to our 6th year conference (June 2003) we had to go to Jordanhill because St Andrews was now closed. I'm not sure exactly when the accomodation was vacated though.
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Postby AlanM » Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:22 am

My mother-in-law attended Notre Dame College when it was still in Dowanhill and my wife attended St Andrew's, and stayed in the Halls

The college is also used as a film location, most notably it serves as the police station in Taggart.
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Postby ibtg » Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:54 am

This could be an urban myth.................

...but the story I heard was that the land had been sold for housing when someone discovered at the last minute that the land had originally been gifted with the proviso that it was used for educational purposes. OOPS!

So then a plan was supposedly drawn up to build a new Bearsden Academy on the site and release the existing Bearsden Academy (which has a large area of land) for the housing estate instead. Problem solved ......?
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Postby JayKay » Tue Jan 23, 2007 11:28 am

They could use all that accommodation to house asylum seekers.

I'm sure the good people of Bearsden would welcome them with open arms.
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Postby ronan » Tue Jan 23, 2007 1:44 pm

yip, just a myth.

I used to work in the EDC planning department. Plenty of examples in East Dun of buildings/land being gifted to the "people", only to find their way into the hands of the private sector.

Still meant to be for the new academy, planning department and historic scotland are holding things up, despite both organisations being warned by independent consultants that the condition of the listed buildings are only going to get worse.

Could bore you with the finer details, but I wont
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Postby The Voyageur » Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:45 pm

Heard a rumour that they film parts of River City in there. Interior shots and the like.
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Postby mmd » Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:12 pm

My Dad worked there for many years up until about '93 - the pics take me back, haven't been up that way for some time now since before my teens. The old man reckoned that the odd sketch from Chewin' The Fat was filmed there :D
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Postby Simba » Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:45 pm

Did it have a swimming pool?

I think I went to a dancing competition there (maybe around 1996?), and remember a swimming pool.

Taggart have filmed up there, my friend was part of a crew when they were but not sure that they use it as the police station. They used to use an old police station for the interior shots though, Partick? I dunno.
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Postby JayKay » Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:03 pm

Apparently Taggart have recently had to stop using St Andrews college for taggart, which makes me think there's a redevelopment imminent.
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