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Scalan Seminary

Updated: Jun 6, 2019

25 members joined the August outing to the Braes of Glenlivet. Our first stop was at the old packhorse bridge at Bridgend of Glenlivet, followed by coffee cakes and a bit of shopping at Tea in the Park in Glenlivet Hall, the proceeds of which are shared between the Hall, Glenlivet and Inveravon Community Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support.

We then continued past the Braeval Distillery and the Highland Spring Plant to the car park for Scalan Seminary, about a mile's walk away. This is where young men were trained for the priesthood throughout the eighteenth century. A time when the catholic religion was proscribed in Scotland and in spite of the original seminary being burnt down by Hanoverian troops after '45. We were met by John Toovey of the Scalan Association who allowed us to see the old water mill and Sandy Mathieson's cottage, as well as the seminary itself.

The mill is due to be restored and the association hope to turn the cottage into a small museum; it was inhabited until the early years of this century with no modern facilities, just a standpipe at the end of the house. It was a grey overcast day, though it did not rain, and it was decided to take the opportunity to visit the church at Chapeltown rather than undertake the Scalan Heritage Trail.

Mrs Toovey gave us a tour of the Church of our Lady of Perpetual Succour, built in the 1890's to replace an older church and featuring some remarkable interior decoration.

Later at the Delsnahaugh Inn we enjoyed a very good high tea before returning to Elgin at about 6pm.

The outing was marred by the the fact that the bus had a faulty door, which meant that we had to use the emergency exit at the back of the bus together with steps borrowed from the Glenlivet Hall, but no-one complained!

Many thanks to Mr and Mrs Toovey for showing us more than we expected to see.


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