Discover Our Heritage from Your Home!
We are very proud of our baths building, which is a beautiful example of Edwardian architecture. But did you know that Govanhill has kept more of its Victorian and Edwardian tenements than any other part of the city? This means that many of our homes are doorways into the past. Read on to learn more and to discover some activities you can try while stuck indoors.
Govanhill Baths has always been known for its beautiful tiles and glazed brickwork. This is one of the glazed brick spittoons, used back in the day by swimmers who chewed tobacco while swimming and needed somewhere to spit. Glazed bricks could be made to any shape, and curved ones were often used in baths to avoid sharp corners. After all, nobody wants a stubbed toe!
Anyone who used the slipper baths in the old building will remember the pink Terrazzo! Did you know that it’s made from concrete and chips of Italian marble, and was a common feature of Edwardian swimming baths?
However, you don’t need to visit the baths to see some amazing tiles. Have a look in your close: are there any colourful tiles there? Tiled closes are called ‘Wally Closes’ in Glasgow slang: ‘Wally’ means anything made from white china. Like the tiles in the baths, wally closes were introduced as a way to improve the cleanliness of flats, helping to protect the health of people who lived in them. Why not try drawing the ones in your close? Then check out Tenement Tiles on Twitter or Instagram which has a range of family activities to try, including tile-rubbing! (Photo credit: Tenement Tiles.)
As well as using these beautiful tiles, Edwardian builders had a clever way of getting around the flats they were working on. Do you have a shelf or cupboard which looks a lot like a doorway? There was originally a passage here which went all theway along the street, allowing the builders to move from flat to flat without ever going outdoors!