Museums for Family Historians – Urban Life


The Industrial Revolution turned Scotland into a divided country, with agricultural districts to the north and south of the increasingly industrialised Central Belt that ran from Glasgow to Edinburgh and where, by 1900, most of the population were living. Already in the nineteenth century, urban overcrowding was a serious problem, with a dilapidated housing stock, poor sanitation and disease. Conditions in Glasgow did improve greatly in the 1850s with the introduction of a clean water supply from Loch Katrine and a new sewerage system (although smaller towns were unable to finance such improvements). The 1860s City Improvement Acts instigated a programme of slum clearance and house building. After WW1, the government initiated a sweeping programme of house building and the creation of New Towns. The pendulum began to swing back towards the end of the twentieth century as people started to value the old Victorian tenements, and Glasgow has seen community groups working to retain and preserve the city’s older properties.

The People’s Story Museum

The Tenement House

[Photo by Adli Wahid on Unsplash]

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