Ladies and Gentlemen's Public Conveniences


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Statutory Address:
Near Whitburn Road - Seaburn Terrace, Seaburn, Sunderland, SR6 8BZ


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Statutory Address:
Near Whitburn Road - Seaburn Terrace, Seaburn, Sunderland, SR6 8BZ

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

Location Description:
Sunderland (Metropolitan Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


Ladies and Gentlemen's public conveniences, 1901-1904.

Reasons for Designation

Seaburn public conveniences, 1901-1904 are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* a well designed and well-detailed Ladies and Gentlemen public convenience, with interior fittings, including sanitary ware, of a high standard and quality; * remarkably intact with original plan-forms including decorative partitions for the washroom, attendant’s room and WC cubicles.

Historic interest:

* ladies public conveniences are rare at this time, and this example at Seaburn is an important example that illustrates the changing social status of women in the early C20.


A set of Ladies and Gentlemen's public conveniences was erected 1901-1904 adjacent to the tram shelter of a similar date erected at the Sea Lane (Seaburn) tram terminus. They are depicted on the third edition Ordnance Survey map surveyed 1913-1914 (published 1919). Original pedestal sanitary fittings were supplied by William Harriman and Co from their Blaydon Firebrick and Sanitary Tube Works. Original urinals and hand basins are unmarked, but are similar to various urinal ranges featured in J Duckett and Son Limited of Burnley's 1913 sanitary appliances catalogue. The original cast-iron posts and railings to the entrances were supplied by P and W Maclellan Limited, Engineers, Glasgow, who supplied the span approach girders for the Forth Bridge. The public conveniences remained open into the 1960s; they were subsequently closed and were restored and opened again in 2018.


Ladies and Gentlemen's public conveniences, 1901-1904.

MATERIALS: red brick with stone coping and cast-iron newel posts to their entrances.

PLAN: T-shaped entrances with split stairs descending to rectangular underground chambers.

EXTERIOR: the ground-level entrances to the Ladies and Gentlemen's toilets are bounded by low brick walls with a central parapet and stone coping. The walls retain several original cast-iron newel posts, one of which to each entrance bears the badge: P and W MACLELLAN/LIMITED/ENGINEERS/GLASGOW. Railings are mostly later replacements.

INTERIOR: split staircases with white glazed brick walls lead down to underground entrances with stone lintels and boarded doors. Walls are clad in white glazed tiles throughout and there are complete terrazzo floors with a pink, red and grey theme with borders. A short passage to the Ladies toilets is flanked to the left by a large corner cloakroom with a timber window and a continuous denticulated, timber cornice. Attached to this is an attendant's room with an identical cornice, and an entrance flanked by a window: the entrance is fitted with an original panelled and leaded glazed door that retains coloured, leaded glass and door furniture. A pair of water-closet cubicles continue on this side with an identical cornice and architraves; original doors are louvered to the lower parts with three horizontal lights above. Immediately opposite the latter is a further pair of water-closet cubicles with a rounded corner, but otherwise identically detailed. Original sanitary ware includes two original white enamel pedestals inscribed with the name 'Harrison's No 2', and a suite of three interlocking white enamelled hand basins (panelled beneath) to the cloakroom. It is understand that there is an original shelf to the attendant's room (not inspected). The left side of the Gentlemen's toilet has a full-length 10-person row of original white enamel urinals with original pipework and bronze water disperser caps. The right side has a large corner cloakroom similarly detailed to that of the Ladies toilets that is entered and lit by a door and flanking window, the latter retaining an upper panel of original coloured, leaded glazing. A suite of four original white enamel hand basins (panelled beneath) are retained. Attached to this is a row of three water-closet cubicles identically detailed to those of the ladies toilet with timber cornice, architraves and doors.


Graces Guide to British Industrial History, accessed 06-12-2019 from
Graces Guide to British Industrial History , accessed 06-12-2019 from
Heritage Calling A Historic England Blog, accessed 10-12-2019 from
J Duckett and Son Limited of Burnley's 1913 sanitary appliances catalogue, accessed 10-12-2019 from
Sunderland Echo newspaper article: 29 September 2018, accessed 12-12-2019 from


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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