Willowbank Row

— #12 Newhaven's Back Streets

Overview Willowbank Row James Street Victoria Place Auchinleck Brae Redevelopment

Willowbank Row  (before)

There were eighteen houses on one side of the street mainly comprising of one bedroom and a public room of a living room-cum-kitchen.  The bedroom had a window to the rear and a window to the front, i.e. the general living quarters.

Coal boxes sit outside the houses in this picture. The rear of the houses on Victoria Place can be seen on the other side of the small wall.


3_6101 Willowbank Row

The single row of houses widens out to accomodate a 3-storey tenement at the western end of Willowbank Row.  Cars, although still few in number, could access this part of the street, as can be seen in the photograph.

No 19 Willowbank Row was a three storey tenement of houses for 12 families. There were four houses on each level, each with room and kitchen and a shared toilet for the four houses on every landing.  A clothes line can be seen outside each kitchen window since there was no common garden area for drying clothes.

Universal suffrage was introduced in 1928 which gave the right to vote to all men and women over the age of 21.  Elections in 1929 showed there were 110 people on the Voters Roll living in the 30 houses of Willowbank Row.   This is indicative of the high-density level of house occupation at that time. 


3_6108 19 Willowbank Row

Willowbank Row – Rear
(after redevelopment)

Apart from the more spacious appearance of these streets, for the most part the houses are built “back to front”, i.e. the bedrooms face north (seaward) and the living areas face south (landward).  This southern aspect was chosen to permit the tenants to let sunshine into their homes.

3_9240 Willowbank Row from the rear 1980