Public Urinal


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
The green at the junction of Whiteladies Road and Westbury Road, Bristol, BS8 2XU

NGR: ST5735274835


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
The green at the junction of Whiteladies Road and Westbury Road, Bristol, BS8 2XU

NGR: ST5735274835

City of Bristol (Unitary Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


A public urinal of 1880s date, manufactured by W. MacFarlane & Co. Ltd, and moved to its current location in 1903/4.

Reasons for Designation

The Public Urinal at the junction of Whiteladies Road and Westbury Road, Bristol is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Historical Interest: this early public convenience structure illustrates the growth of the Bristol suburbs in the late-C19 and the facilities provided by the local authorities in order to foster the genteel middle-class environment to which they aspired. The relocation of the structure to its current site is an historic change illustrating the changing needs of the area; * Architectural Interest: a relatively elegant, if largely utilitarian, design for a structure of this type. Well made by the prolific MacFarlane Foundry of Glasgow * Intactness: although the roof covering is modern, the majority of the structure remains intact; * Rarity: examples of individually-designed public urinals of this date are vulnerable to change or removal and, as a result, increasingly rare; * Group Value: the structure forms a group with the Reverend Urijah Rees Thomas Memorial Fountain and St John’s Parochial School (both listed at Grade II).


The urinal dates from the 1880s, around the same time other urinals were installed in the city, including at Horfield Common (qv) and St Agnes' Park (qv). This example was originally located on the highway junction to the south, at the top of what was then called Black Boy Hill. It is not shown on the map of 1883, by which date the Prince of Wales’s Fountain had been erected close by. However, the urinal is shown next to the fountain on a photograph of 1886, and both are marked on the 1903 map. When the Reverend Urijah Rees Thomas Memorial Fountain (listed at Grade II) was erected on the green to the north, the earlier fountain was presumably removed and the urinal moved to its current position, further north towards St John’s Parochial School (listed at Grade II). The urinal and drinking fountain are shown on a postcard sent in 1904, and on the Ordnance Survey Map of 1916. In 2014, the urinal is still in use as a public convenience.


A public urinal of 1880s date, manufactured by W. MacFarlane & Co. Ltd’s Saracen Foundry, Glasgow, and moved to its current location in 1903/4.

DESCRIPTION: a rectangular cast-iron structure with square entrance screens to both (north and south) entrances. It is constructed of a slender iron frame with decorative panels that are on a geometric, Moorish-style theme. The upper panels have ventilation slits. The upper iron frame has a saw-tooth detail. The hipped roof is a glazed cast-iron structure built in two tiers. Sited on a slight slope, the north end is set in the concrete pavement while the sides and south end stand on chamfered stone blocks. The entrances have a concrete step (shallower at the north end). The two rows of bowed urinal units are porcelain with curved metal ‘modesty’ screens between them at chest level. The floor by the urinals is covered in modern tiles.


Books and journals
Fisher, J, Fisher, D, Ford, M, Ford, F Ford, Bristol On Old Postcards, Vol.2, (J. & D. Fisher and M. & F. Ford,Vol. 2, 1985 ), 40
Reece Winstone, , Bristol Old and New, (1974), 69


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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