The Little Gorbals

April 6, 2008 at 19:43 | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Little Gorbals (Devonshire Buildings)

Sandstone tenements like these have always been plentiful in Scotland but almost unknown in England. These iconic buildings on Barrow Island are the only ones I know. I’m sure many a Glaswegian has seen in them a glimpse of home; for me it was different. The first time I saw Glasgow I had a strange sense of familiarity.

In the nineteenth century when Barrow’s shipyard was booming, workers were brought in from the Clyde as well as elsewhere and housed in these replicas of Clydeside tenements, designed by the same architect as the Gorbals, Like the Gorbals, they have long had a fearsome reputation and mention of ‘the buildings’ or ‘the flats’ is likely to make old Barrovians (like my mother) blench. As with real Glasgow tenements, at least those that are left, the present-day reality is much less interesting. They are listed buildings and with the inevitable redevelopment of the docklands currently going on their stock is bound to rise.

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  1. That building looks to be in a really good state. Lovely shot!


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