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Public Conveniences

A Grade II Listed Building in Central, City of Bristol

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4555 / 51°27'19"N

Longitude: -2.6015 / 2°36'5"W

OS Eastings: 358301

OS Northings: 173121

OS Grid: ST583731

Mapcode National: GBR C6K.M2

Mapcode Global: VH88M.VPK1

Entry Name: Public Conveniences

Listing Date: 26 January 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1423532

Location: Bristol, BS8

County: City of Bristol

Electoral Ward/Division: Central

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Bristol

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bristol

Church of England Parish: Clifton, St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Bristol

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Summary

Public Conveniences of 1904 date, located in Bristol city centre.

Description

Public conveniences of 1904, architect unknown; in the C21 used as an art exhibition venue.

MATERIALS: constructed of ashlar stone with porcelain WC fittings, marble modesty screens and cubicle partitions, and timber partitions and other fittings. Rainwater goods and other fittings are cast-iron.

PLAN: single-storey and irregular on plan, the building is split into two distinct units: Gentlemen’s cloakrooms to the south and Ladies’ cloakrooms to the north, with separate entrances. The Gents is set forward towards Woodland Road behind a low wall. The entrance front of the Ladies is set back behind the low wall and a small garden. The entrance to the gents faces Park Row and is set within the sharply-angled corner of the building.

EXTERIOR: designed on a Classical theme, the elevations are banded ashlar with fluted Ionic pilasters around the openings under a Corinthian architrave, frieze and cornice. The right bays to Woodland Road have three windows under rusticated flat arches with keystones. Below cill level is a rusticated plinth. The window frames are timber casements with 6/8/6 pane lights above. The central pediment above the cornice has matching mouldings and a 1904 keyed datestone. The bays to the left have the same treatment and a projecting central bay with a single, larger window that has etched lower panes: LADIES (left) and CLOAKROOM (right). A round gable incorporates the cornice. To the left is the entrance with three stone steps, and to the right is a single window to the Gents cubicles.

The door to the Gents has pilasters from which springs a round head with a carved broken pediment above. There is a cast-iron gate with decorative cast-iron fanlight. The Woodland Rise elevation to both parts of the building has no openings and a ramped cornice following the uphill slope.

INTERIOR:

GENTS: the lobby is divided by three cast-iron modesty screens with marble panels. The main cloakroom is triangular in layout, widening to the north. To the left and right are porcelain urinals with cisterns fixed to the walls at upper level (two on the west wall, three on the east wall). The cisterns are stamped ADAMSEZ SCOTSWOOD ON TYNE and sit on decorative cast-iron brackets. The windows have cast-iron poles for opening the upper lights. A roof lantern has lights operated by cast-iron poles that are fixed to the walls at lower level. On the rear wall are two modern sink units and two doors to cubicles. Above the doors is a cast-iron grille, and cast-iron spikes are fixed to the top of the cubicle partition, below a small roof lantern. The WC units are modern. To the right of the cubicles is a further door, serving a utility cupboard. The floors are covered in black and white encaustic tiles. Above dado height the walls are covered in brick-shaped tiles.
LADIES: panelled timber partition walls, some of which are glazed at upper level, form a lobby and corridor in the cloakroom. At the front is an office, to the right are three partitioned cubicles, and the main area is an open powder room. Each cubicle has a porcelain unit stamped THE “DELUGE” ADAMANT with a timber seat fitted to the width of the cubicle with a central hinged section. The cisterns are supported on cast-iron brackets. The cubicle dividing walls have marble panels and each cubicle has a panelled timber door with upper glazing. Beyond the third cubicle is a small service room with a panelled, glazed door. The powder room has a panelled dresser fixed to the non-glazed partition wall opposite the cubicles. It has a marble worktop, mirror and bracketed ledge. The rear (east) external wall has a large timber sash facing the small yard behind Woodland Rise. Three low-level sinks are fixed to the north wall, the central one being stamped TWYFORD’S SURGICAL LAVATORY. To each side are corner sinks, and part of the rail of the partition wall is curved to accommodate the left hand unit. Fixed to the wall above the sinks are two timber panels for coat hooks. The cloakroom has a rectangular lantern with cast-iron openers fixed to the walls. The panelled partitions have moulded cornices and terminate above floor level. The walls are covered in brick-shaped tiles and the floors in black and white encaustic tiles.

History

The building dates from 1904 (datestone). It replaced a urinal on the site that is marked on the Ordnance Survey Map of 1903. The current building is shown on the Ordnance Survey Map of 1918. The conveniences were closed in 2001 and reopened as an art exhibition venue in 2012.

Reasons for Listing

The Public Conveniences on the corner of Woodland Road and Park Row, Bristol, built in 1904, are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural Interest: a building of elegant design, the architectural treatment is an assured articulation of both Corinthian and Ionic Classical Orders, unusual for a utilitarian structure of this type;
* Historical Interest: this public convenience structure illustrates the civic pride in the affluent City of Bristol of the early C20;
* Intactness: although the roof covering is modern, the majority of the structure remains intact;
* Interior: the layout of the conveniences is intact, with separate powder room in the Ladies, along with many original high quality fittings;
* Rarity: individually-designed public conveniences of this date are vulnerable to change or removal and, as a result, increasingly rare.

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