Local Authority Housing in Stirling 1925 – 1954

The Stirling Dean of Guild plan series includes lots of plans of housing developments built by both Stirling Town Council and Stirling County Council. As well as being useful for when the people living in them want to find out about their homes, when they are making alterations, for example, these also show changing fashions in architecture and give an interesting insight into how lives were lived and attitudes to the provision of housing for local people.

The state of housing for many in Stirling in the early 20th century was not good and in the 1920s and 30s, the local authorities were looking in to what to do about the problems of slum accommodation in certain areas of the town. Some of the most cramped dwellings were the notorious ‘single end’ flats where whole families lived, cooked and slept in one room with a range at one side and a recess for a fold down bed at the other.

Slum clearance was taking place at the Top Of The Town in Stirling at this time and the Archives holds Compulsory Purchase Orders for Baker Street, Bow Street and St John Street where people were being moved out of properties that had been condemned before these buildings were demolished. The aim was to improve the lives of local people by providing more spacious modern housing with ‘all mod cons’.

One of the first developments was at Bannockburn in 1925. This was a large housing area and had 6 house ‘types’ to cater for people in differing circumstances. The buildings varied from ‘Type A’ flats with 1 bedroom, a living room and scullery and 4 flats in each block, to larger family homes, semi-detached, with 3 bedrooms. All the houses had their own bathrooms and WCs, a huge improvement on the shared facilities in many tenement buildings. Cooking would have been done in the living rooms on the range there. The other room, labelled as a ‘scullery’ was for the preparation and storage of food and had a copper for the washing as well as sinks for washing up. These ‘sculleries’ will all have been converted to kitchens by now. These houses were well built and are still family homes today.

These flats in St Mary’s Wynd were built by the Council to replace older slum dwellings that had been demolished. Compulsory Purchase Orders were passed for many streets in the Top of The Town area and housing then built in a style that attempted to complement the vernacular Scottish architecture of this area. The flats were well proportioned and had modern fixtures and fittings.

The Jublilee Flats on Drip Road, Raploch were designed by Captain Eric Sinclair Bell in 1937 and are a variation on the Scottish Baronial style of architecture given the title ‘Scotstyle’.

By the 1950s, the expanding population of the Stirling area saw the need for more housing developments. These houses were built at Broomridge and again there were various house types built to cater for families of different sizes. Note that there are now kitchens, rather than ‘sculleries’ in the houses.

The Archives holds plans of many private houses in the Stirling Council area so if you are looking for plans of your house, it is always worth checking with us to see if we hold them. Staff can also help you research the history of your house in these and other records.

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6 thoughts on “Local Authority Housing in Stirling 1925 – 1954

  1. A1 type on Polmaise Ave, St Ninians too. Granny moved into a ground floor one sometime around 1983/4 and gas had replaced coal as the heat source so she hung coats in space allocated for storing coal, I would never have guessed it’s former use. Love to see the good old fashioned word ‘press’ used too.

    1. Hi Lynne,
      Thank you very much for your comment and for sharing your memories. It can be really interesting to see what the rooms in an older building were originally intended for. I love the fact that in one of the plans, the space near the door in the looby is marked ‘pram’, where young Mums were intended to keep the large prams that they would have had when these houses were built.
      Thanks again for commenting and for visiting our blog.
      Stirling Archives

  2. Hello
    My great-uncle George C Robb was Stirling’s County Architect from Sept 1943 to Sept 1945. I know he planned the very first post-war houses – beginning at Stenhousemuir, but they were built by his successor. I’d be very interested in any plans or records that survive ?
    best regards

    Steven Robb

    1. Hi Steven, Thank you for your comment. I will have a look into this for you and get back to you by email.
      Best regards,
      Stirling Archives.

  3. I have recently come across a series of Council houses built in the thirties which all have concrete kitchen floors built about five inches below the main wooden floor level of the rest of the house. Two suggestions as to why, my own is it was to prevent any flooding in the kitchen reaching the rest of the house, and second was because of back to back living room and kitchen coal fires made this necessary?
    I note the kitchens in all the house plans are a different colour to the rest of the house so are they a different level and if so, does anyone no exactly why?
    This would help in a little book I am doing on the village of Duntocher.
    Great Plans on your sight and so rare these days.
    Jack

    1. Hi Jack,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Unfortunately this is beyond our expertise. I would recommend getting in touch with a local architect to find out an answer to your two points. Your theories do sound very plausible though!

      Regards,

      Stirling Archives

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