Tenements, the Working Class and Slum Clearance in Old Edinburgh

10th May 2023

A lecture by Aaron Sheridan

This spring, SHBT bring you ‘Tales from the Tron’. In this five-lecture series, guest speakers will cover the story of the Tron from the fantastical public spectacles staged at the Salt Tron on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, via a shopper’s prehistory of Marlin’s Wynd, through to the Tron Kirk in its urban context and the working class and slum clearances of Old Edinburgh. Our final lecture, A Walk through a Thinking Machine: from Riddle’s Court to the Tron with Patrick Geddes, will end with a walk to the Tron Kirk to explore how we use spaces and places to learn.

Tenements surround the Tron Kirk on every side, they line the streets of Old Town and Canongate and they sprawl across the older city districts in rows. But what is a tenement? What makes them so abundant in Scotland? What would life have been like for those living in the old closes and wynds of Edinburgh long before the advent of council housing changed living standards in Scotland forever? Join us for a talk which will take you through the interesting history of the tenement and working-class culture in Edinburgh, the politics of housing in Scotland and the various efforts at slum clearance that have changed the character of urban Scotland forever.

By Scottish Historic Buildings Trust

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