The National Trust for Scotland's Tenement House provides a rare glimpse into life in Glasgow in the early 20th century, in this faithfully restored four-room house!
About Tenement House
The house at 145 Buccleuch Street was built in 1892 by speculative builders keen to monopolise on Glasgow’s swift industrial boom. Agnes Toward and her mother, Mrs Agnes Reid Toward, moved here in 1911. Her father, a commercial traveller in metals, died when Agnes was just three years old.
Miss Toward was a shorthand typist for a firm of shipping merchants and coal exporters called Prentice, Service & Henderson. She never married and worked on into her 70s –today she would be seen as an independent career woman. From her extensive archive, we see that she enjoyed taking holidays in Largs, baking, going to church and taking regular theatre trips to watch musicals.
Her mother was a dressmaker who also used the house as her business premises. You can still see her sign in the stair, with its proud boast of ‘no fitting required’. Mrs Toward passed away in 1939, and her daughter remained living there until 1965 when her failing health required her to move to long-term hospital care.
When Agnes died ten years later she left a set of chairs in her will to a church elder, Mr Sam Davidson. When he visited the house to collect them he brought with him his niece Anna, who was instantly struck by the need to preserve the house and its contents, and persuaded the owners to sell it to her. She lived there for seven years before selling it to the Trust in 1982.
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