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Scalan replaces Morar

May 15, 2018

After the destruction of the college on Loch Morar, Bishop Gordon turned to his kinsman the Duke of Gordon for a safe place for a replacement seminary.  This led to the establishment of Scalan, a name which possibly encapsulates not only the Penal Times but hopes for, and the beginning of, a better future for Scots Catholics. It was situated in the Braes of Glenlivet, a few miles from Tomintoul, in the lands of the Catholic Duke of Gordon who, along with its remote location, provided it with some security. Between 1716 and 1799 it prepared about 64 priests for Scotland at a crucial time. The house in the photo was built in 1767, the survivor of a succession of buildings there. It was constructed in the time when Rev. John Geddes was rector. His was a golden era when excellence was the standard: Scalan may have been remote, but it had a first-class library, and students were given a superior education to prepare them, mainly, to go to the seminaries abroad. The farm used the most modern methods for the time, and a few years ago, workmen doing extensive repairs observed that the most up-to-date methods of the time were employed in building it.

 

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