The Archive

The Tower Block UK image archive is a fully searchable database of around 4,000 images of every multi-storey social housing development built in the UK. The photographs were largely taken in the 1980s by Miles Glendinning and are made available here for public use. As many of the blocks documented and photographed have since been demolished, the archive functions in part as a repository of information on an important aspect of UK heritage that is now vanishing.

The archive itself catalogues multi-storey blocks as part of the developments within which they were initially commissioned and built. It gives details of notable dates, such as when local authorities approved the developments and when construction began or finished. Alongside this, the archive provides information on the local authorities, architects, and other agents involved in the processes of commissioning, designing, and constructing mass social housing.

While the most historically 'accurate' identification labels in the database are the original overall development or project names, the archive also contains details of the individual blocks built.

Beginning as the digitisation of one specific collection of details and photographs, this archive is intended to expand as residents and former residents of housing developments contribute their thoughts, comments, and photographs.

We aim to expand the archive to include comments and photographs from residents or ex-residents, and welcome submissions via e-mail or the comment section for each development in the database.

If you have any queries please contact Lucy Wood at .


The images on the site are made available under a Creative Commons Attribution licence, meaning they may be distributed and re-used for non-commercial purposes as long as credit is given to the original creator, Prof. Miles Glendinning.


Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all material is copyright © The University of Edinburgh 2016.