Greenock in 1877

In the 1870s the Burgh of Greenock decided to embark on an improvement program covering the central area of the town. This had grown up haphazardly since the eighteenth century and was a warren of narrow streets, dank closes and poor housing.

One of the prime motivations behind the scheme was the eradication of disease, especially cholera, which had afflicted the town throughout the nineteenth century. The improvement scheme involved the demolition of the old buildings and the creation of a new street pattern. Only odd vestiges of the old area remain, such as Drummer's Close, a reminder of the old Greenock seen in the photographs here.

Prior to starting work the Burgh conducted a photographic survey of the area to be redeveloped, providing an invaluable record of the way the town was before the large scale changes of the later nineteenth century.

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