St Joseph’s College, is a former Roman Catholic seminary. The foundation of the large building was laid in April 1880 and college was opened in 1883.
St. Joseph’s was one of two main seminaries serving the north of England. For many years, each of these institutions housed both a junior and a senior seminary. The junior seminaries provided a secondary education in a semi-monastic environment to boys aged 11–18 who wished to pursue the priesthood
Although St Joseph’s flourished until the 1960s, the rapidly changing social climate in that decade led to a sharp drop in enrolment. In the early 1970s, the northern bishops decided to consolidate the activities of the northern seminaries.
St Joseph;s continued to suffer a decline in enrollment, and by the 1980s was no longer a traditional seminary but a “boarding school for boys considering a vocation”. In 1986 the total number of students was down to 82, of whom only 54 were Church students, and it was no longer viable to educate them on the premises.