Calton is a district in Glasgow's east end. It lies between Bridgeton, Dennistoun, Parkhead and the city centre. One of the city's oldest roads, Gallowgate, runs through the area and Calton is often informally referred to as being Gallowgate. Calton's most famous landmarks is the Barras street market and the world famous Barrowland, one of Glasgow's principal musical venues.
Calton was created under the Slum Clearance Act 1936 along with similar housing schemes like Blackhill. However, unlike its contempory, housing was almost entirely made up of 'Rehousing' grade tenements - the lowest grade of council housing and cheapest to build. These tenements, made of constituted stone, aged badly. Many became illetable and were demolished in the 1980s and 1990s.
The comedienne Jane Godley, in her 2005 autobiography "Handstands in the Dark", wrote about the 14 years she spent running a Calton pub, the Weavers Inn (formerly the Nationalist Bar). Her book details life there in the 1980s and 1990s, a time when the area became notorious for heroin abuse and when urban renewal began.
Most of the housing is owned by Glasgow Housing Association with a high percentage of tenants on housing benefit. Due to the revival of Glasgow City centre as a desirable place to live, leading to rising demand for land and consequent overspill into surrounding areas, the Glasgow Green area has once again become a place for new luxury building development - as it once was in the 19th century.
Like neighbouring Bridgeton, the area has experienced sectarian tensions for generations; the Orange Order have a particular foothold in this area and there are also Irish Republican organisations present. This is reflected, albeit much declined in modern times, in gang and sectarian related graffiti.
Calton is an area of considerable poverty and deprivation. A BBC Scotland news report on 13 February 2006 pointed out that partially due to poor diet, crime, alcohol and drug abuse, life expectancy in Calton is lower than in some areas of Iraq or the Gaza Strip. A news report in the 27th October 2006 edition of the Metro newspaper gave the average lifespan of person living in the Calton area as 53 compared with the Scottish average of 78.
Calton has two of the United Kingdom's tallest tower blocks located in the high rise estate at Gallowgate. They are 31 storeys/90m tall and are the 6th and 7th tallest high flats in the country only beinhind the Barbican in London and The Sentinels in Birmingham. They are condemned due to structural problems.