One of the proudest derelict buildings in the country. Built in 1883 this Roman Catholic college for boys served the entire North of England and was purposefully situated in Upholland, the geographic centre of the Diocese of Liverpool. Whilst the seminary flourished in the post war era, there was a sharp drop in enrolment due to a rapidly changing social climate towards the end of the century. St Joseph's continued to offer boarding school education for boys considering a vocation until 1987, but the vast scale of this 150 acre site meant that financial instability during the 1980s resulted in its closure in 1992 and subsequent deconsecrating soon after (removal of religious blessing by a priest). St Josephs is understandably well kept, and the gardens of the grounds are regularly maintained so as to prevent its multiple acres of land from falling into decline. With the courtyard isolated in the centre of the grounds, the seminary has an almost endless feel to it. You can carry on walking up any combination of flights of stairs and corridors and find something new no matter how many times you try. The observatory tower to the west is notoriously difficult to find, and the rows of sinks in the boys bathroom quarters still remain a mystery to most explorers. Word has it that the room was sectioned off due to rain damage yet rumours have spread that they have been destroyed by yet another group of mindless vandals. As with any site like this, it truly is a race against time to document their forgotten beauty before someone inevitably causes irreparable damage (that is, if the weather doesn’t get there first). Starting off at the base of the site with the laundry room and kitchens, working through the offices and lounge areas, natural light can be very sparse which is clear to see in many of my images. The windows across the majority of the site were never purposefully built to let in light, rather to preserve the heat of this colossal building. The library with its spiral staircase and large dormitory bedrooms were almost untouched, making me appreciate for once the level of care that has been taken to keep this place under wraps. The stained glass windows of the prayer room were the cream of the crop, and I very nearly missed this room towards the end of the day as it was one of the last we managed to find. This is a truly special site, and one that has become legendary amongst enthusiasts worldwide for good reason.