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Old Close in High Street

Glasgow University Library Special Collections, Edwin Law

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Old Close in High Street

A close off the High Street, from an etching published c 1900.

The old city centre was honeycombed with dingy and narrow closes and wynds. These back alleys led to rows of slum houses crammed on to land that had once comprised the gardens and backlands of street-fronting houses.

This view by Edwin Law gives an idealised picture of a city centre close, showing it as broad, clean and well-lit. A famous series of photographs of by Thomas Annan depicts a different reality. The worst of Glasgow's slums and their back wynds and closes were swept away by the City Improvement Trust during the final three decades of the 19th century.

Reference: Glasgow University Library Special Collections, e190

Glasgow University Library, Special Collections

alleys, City Improvement Trust, closes, houses, housing, slums, tenements, women, wynds

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