Tenement House is the last house on the tenement block found at the end of Buccleuch Street, built towards the end of the Victorian era. The curious museum takes its props from slightly later on, when Agnes Toward and her mother, a widowed dressmaker, moved into the property in 1911. It was Agnes’ talent for keeping old relics of that era in pristine condition that makes Tenement House a unique marvel amidst a city full of red sandstone tenement buildings. It is the only building of its particular design still standing, and has retained its original fittings, although there have been necessary modern upgrades. Agnes Toward had the flat converted to electricity in 1960, but when the National Trust for Scotland bought the tenement, they converted it back to gas power in order to recreate the era more authentically. When she passed away in 1975, Miss Toward declared in her will that the house be left to her church. One of the church elder’s came to inspect the flat with his niece, an actress named Anna Davidson. It was she who initially saw the potential historic wealth in all of Agnes’ belongings from different eras. Davidson moved into the tenement, cleaning it and storing Agnes’ treasure trove, until it was bought by the National Trust for Scotland in 1982, who opened it to the public the following year.
Please note that Tenement House is closed over the winter period,
from the 31st October until it opens again on the 1st March.