Title: Barn Close Flats, Gateshead
Date: Date Unknown
Reference Number: GL002534
Item Description: The Barn Close flats were the first multi-storey blocks on Tyneside. They were completed in 1956 and consisted of 196 dwellings in four t-shaped blocks with communal roof-top walking areas.
The flats were built on the site of some of Gateshead's worst slum housing. Under the Housing Act of 1930 the Council was given much greater legal power to deal with slum housing and whole areas could be demolished. Barn Close was the first area to be tackled after an enquiry in 1932 revealed conditions of extreme squalor (one basement was found to contain 11 people). Between 1932 and 1935 Barn Close and other slum areas at Pipewellgate, Hillgate, Bridge Street, Church Street and Old Fold were acquired by compulsory purchase order and demolished. This added to the worsening housing shortage, and with a lack of available land on which to build, the solution was to build upwards.
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