A rather stunning building, sadly in very poor state. One of the buildings looked accessible but not terribly inspiring so i did not bother. The main part is gorgeous but I could find no entry point - I thought I had but it just led to a basement with about 4 rooms in it.
Some info garnered from t'interweb:
Cotton College was a Roman Catholic boarding school in Cotton near Oakamoor, North Staffordshire, England, also known as Saint Wilfrid's College. It closed in 1987 and the site is now derelict.
It was founded in 1763 by William Errington at Sedgley Park, Wolverhampton, at the recommendation of Bishop Richard Challoner. In 1873 it moved to Cotton Hall. The original house appears to date back to 1630 and was most probably built by the Morrice family before Thomas Gilbert moved there. This began an association of the Gilbert Family and the Earl of Shrewsbury as Land Agents and Industrial Entrepreneurs over the next decades till Cotton Hall was sold in 1884. After its sale to the Earl of Shrewsbury it was then used by the Oratorians, and then the Passionists, then finally the secular clergy of the archdiocese of Birmingham. The school closed in 1987 due to financial difficulties, and the structure has fallen into a state of disrepair. Only Saint Wilfrid's church remains intact.
The college building is built of red brick with painted ashlar dressings and a slate-covered mansard roof. It was extended in 1846-1848 by the great Victorian architect A W N Pugin (most famous for his work with Charles Barry on the Houses of Parliament), who designed an extension to the building and the chapel. The building was further extended in 1874-1875, 1886-1887 and 1931-1932.
Cotton College began as the Sedgley Park School. It was founded in 1763 by Bishop Challoner. After 110 years the school left its first home near Wolverhampton and moved to Cotton Hall, near Oakamoor in 1873 where it was known as St Wilfrid's College, Cotton until the mid 1900's.
Before that Cotton Hall had had an interesting history of its own. It had been owned by the Gilbert family for generations. The date 1630 is clearly cut in the cellars. In 1843 when the family died out, Cotton was bought by the Earl of Shrewsbury. In 1846 he offered it to Faber and his fellow converts and Newman joined him there. Within a month of their arrival, the foundation stone of the church designed by Pugin was laid. Faber said his first mass at Cotton in 1847. He built a shrine to our Lady of Salette at the head of the Cotton Valley.
Cotton College had been an exclusively boys boarding school up to the 1980'a when girls were admitted for the first time. The school survived until 1987 when it was closed by the Archdiocese.
At one of the two main front entrances is a double gate with big chain and padlock and every manner of keep out sign imaginable inc the usual culprits about it being dangerous building, CCTV, Guard dogs, children must not play, trespassers will be ..... and yada yada yada.
So on with the piccies:
Gutted I didn't find access and wish I could have seen in here shortly after it was closed down - must've been amazing. ****ing outrageous that somewhere like this has been allowed to get into this state
As I was making my way out of the grounds this (not so) little fella was hovering around me - wouldn't let me get close once settled so had to eventually shoot him from some distance and then enlarge by cropping right in - not bad for a compact's sensor: