Photographer Rik Cotterill captured these eerie photographs of the rooms, hallways and dormitories of an abandoned Victorian seminary where a Catholic priest once allegedly preyed on the young. St Joseph’s seminary in Lancashire, England, opened in 1883 and was eventually shut down in 1992.
One of the priests had accusations of sexual abuse made against him by a former pupil in 2004. Father Michael Higginbotton was suspended by the church and withdrawn from his role in Darlington, Co. Durham following the allegations. The Catholic Church settled the case in 2008, paying the alleged victim £35,000. Higginbotton was never charged.
The building, which boasts austere gothic architecture, was divided into two parts. The junior section provided religious education to boys aged 11-18, while the senior half trained men aged 18-24 to become priests.
Speaking of the building, Cotterill said: “Despite having been closed since the early 90’s, the late Victorian architecture has stood the test of time and is truly a testament to itself and the history it holds. In many respects time has been paused here for the past 20 years."