Monday, 24 February 2014

Tenement Tiles

Tenements have been a feature of Scottish towns and cities for centuries.  Sharing a common entry way and stairs (in Scotland called the close), generally there are six or eight apartments in each building.  They come in a variety of styles, but perhaps the nicest tenements in Greenock are those on the Esplanade.

Sandringham Terrace, built of red sandstone about 1900, takes up a whole block between Margaret Street and Fox Street.  With uninterrupted views across the River Clyde to the hills of Argyll, they are highly desirable residences.

They are also full of interesting features.  These intricate structures top the little towers at each corner.

One of the closes (common entryway) has this lovely ceramic
tiled mural on the wall.  The scene is of the River Clyde with the hills in the background and a steamer making its way downriver.

The tiles were produced by the Glasgow company, James Duncan Ltd who provided the tiles for many shops and business all over Scotland.  There's an interesting paper on the subject here.

Sandringham Terrace is a beautiful feature of Greenock's Esplanade.

Joining with Monday Mural.

The Greenockian


  1. I can see why Sandringham Terrace is so desirable Liz, wouldn't mind living there myself if only it wasn't so cold over there :)

  2. The details on the tiles are fantastic! I like the way you describe tenements. I think they usually have a negative connotation for me.

  3. An impressive series of this fabulous apartment house and the setting. An enjoyable post.

  4. I love those tiles! Is a tenement what we would call an apartment building rather than a slum-like building?

    1. It could be called an apartment building - as could all tenements. In Scotland tenements are a very popular style of housing. In Greenock we have many different types, from the "posh" ones on the Esplanade, through to some not so nice ones! I'll be blogging about some more at a later date.

  5. Ooh, majolica tiles to die for. Beautiful. Thanks for the history on the tiles and the building. And thanks for contributing to this week's Monday Mural.


Your comments are very welcome.