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Calton Backcourt

Burrell Collection Photo Library

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Calton Backcourt

A small drying green amid Calton backlands c 1900.

Backlands [from the traditional Scots word "land", for a tenement house] were houses erected in the spaces behind the buildings that lined the city's streets. They were often up to five storeys in height and built so close together that sunlight could not penetrate the maze of narrow wynds and closes that separated them and connected them with the streets. Most backlands were little more than overcrowded and insanitary slums, and the City Improvement Trust made their removal one of its key priorities.

Reference: 140.77.131

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums

backlands, drying greens, laundry, long johns, overcrowding, slums, tenements, underwear, washing, washing lines

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