What does the term 'Backland' mean in Scottish census?

+3 votes
Looking through census records for Scotland I have seen the word Backland used in place of an actual house number. Does this mean the person is technically homeless and living on the street near the previous proper address?
in Genealogy Help by Anonymous McCormick G2G6 Mach 5 (56.0k points)

2 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer

Development of 'landlocked' sites behind existing buildings, such as rear gardens and private open space, usually within predominantly residential areas. Such sites often have no street frontages. 

by Shirley Gilbert G2G6 Mach 4 (44.5k points)
selected by Anonymous McCormick
Thanks Shirley. That would seem to fit the scenario.

Pictures of backland housing  in Glasgow



There are  other pictures and maps with the tags backlands and backcourt 

Thank you very much, Helen. Fascinating pictures.
+3 votes


"Land behind or beyond an area that is built on or otherwise developed" is a dictionary definition that I found online.  To me, it would imply either rural or an extremely unpopulated area -- but that would just be a guess.


by R. Greenup G2G6 Mach 6 (66.6k points)
Thanks Reba but these were related to areas within Glasgow's slums so I can't imagine them being rural or sparsely populated. I should, however, find some old maps just to be sure.

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