The Glasgow Tenement House

After we visited the very grand Pollok House in Glasgow a couple of weeks ago, we decided to go to the other end of the National Trust properties in Glasgow – the tenement in Buccleuch Street in Garnethill, not far from the Art School. Sadly I wasn’t able to take any photos of it, this is something which drives me round the bend as I can’t see a down side to people taking photos in NT properties. Obviously the camera’s flash could be turned off if they are worried about ancient tapestries that would be damaged by the light.

You can see a few photos of the tenement flat which are online here and here.

Miss Agnes Toward lived in the flat for about 50 years and in that time she doesn’t seem to have changed anything, even having gas lighting up until the 1960s. So it’s a bit of a time capsule, the flat has just one bedroom in it but the kitchen and the front room (parlour) both have a bed recess and box beds fitted into them.

Sadly there seem to be no photos of the bathroom online. It has a lovely basin in the shape of a shell with the water coming out of a smaller shell instead of a tap, and more shell shaped grooves for the soap and whatever.

It was all very familiar to me as I was born in a Victorian Glasgow flat, although it was a larger one with ornate cornicing and ceiling roses. In fact Jack did mention that the glass lemon squeezer on display in the kitchen is exactly the same as the one which we still use, there were quite a few things there which we have in our home.

The Tenement House is well worth a visit, it’s a wonderful glimpse back for anyone interested in social history.

2 thoughts on “The Glasgow Tenement House

  1. How very interesting – and even the utilitarian items in those days were produced with artistic flair, “just for nice”.
    The interior photos in the visitscotland link are very familiar to me: I had the privilege of visiting my grandparents’ little farm cottage in my childhood and that is the way it was: the marble-topped washstand, the coal range, panelled doors, iron and brass bedhead and all. Better yet, I’m now the custodian of some of those things. Including a glass lemon-squeezer 🙂

    • Valerie,
      Those old things always seem comforting somehow. I like kitchenalia and have Granny’s old wooden butter paddles too and china and glass jelly moulds. One of the box beds in the Glasgow flat has a door on it which you could close, maybe a bit unhealthy in those days of TB and polluted air, but it did look cosy!
      I’m glad you got the lemon squeezer too!

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