History in Structure

Ladies' Public Lavatories Circa 50 Metres North of Holburne of Menstrie Museum

A Grade II Listed Building in Bathwick, Bath and North East Somerset

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Latitude: 51.3863 / 51°23'10"N

Longitude: -2.3507 / 2°21'2"W

OS Eastings: 375689

OS Northings: 165307

OS Grid: ST756653

Mapcode National: GBR 0QJ.0HH

Mapcode Global: VH96M.6FM3

Plus Code: 9C3V9JPX+GP

Entry Name: Ladies' Public Lavatories Circa 50 Metres North of Holburne of Menstrie Museum

Listing Date: 30 October 1987

Last Amended: 15 October 2010

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1242916

English Heritage Legacy ID: 512488

ID on this website: 101242916

Location: Sydney Gardens, Bathwick, Bath and North East Somerset, Somerset, BA2

County: Bath and North East Somerset

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Bath

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

Tagged with: Architectural structure Public toilet

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Ladies' public lavatories, dating from c.1914, cast by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow to MacFarlane's patent design.

MATERIALS: The structure is of cast iron, with a glass roof.

PLAN: The structure is roughly rectangular on plan, with cubicles to either side of a central passage.

EXTERIOR: The structure is based on a rectangular tubular framework which supports cast iron panels with decorative bands, over a plinth, dado and top; the plinth is articulated by decorative frames, with square decorative panels to dado level; and the top has a pierced ventilation frieze.

INTERIOR: The open entrance is screened by grille doors to opposing central openings, with three cubicles to either side.

HISTORY: Sydney Gardens were laid out as commercial pleasure grounds between 1792 and 1794; the initial design was by the architect Thomas Baldwin, who, after he went bankrupt, was replaced by Charles Harcourt Masters in 1794. They were opened on 11 May 1795 as Sydney Gardens Vauxhall, and rapidly became a popular place of entertainment, hosting public breakfasts, promenades and galas. The main building was the Sydney Tavern, which stood at the western end of the central walk. In 1799, a section of the Kennet and Avon Canal was cut through the gardens; and during the early C19, additional features and structures were introduced, adding variety and surprise in accordance with landscape design principles of the period. From c.1839, a section of the Great Western Railway was constructed, cutting through the gardens. In 1891, when the original 99-year lease of the Gardens expired, the entire site, including the Tavern, by then in use as a college, was sold. In 1908, the site was purchased by Bath City Council; the gardens were opened to the public as a municipal park in 1913, while the Tavern was remodelled into the Holburne of Menstrie Museum. The lavatories were added c.1914, a cast iron structure having been chosen for its economy. In the late C20, additional facilities including new lavatories were introduced, making the cast-iron lavatories redundant. The gardens remain in use as a public park.

The ladies' lavatories in Sydney Gardens are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* An unusually complete survival of industrial prefabrication as applied to this specialised and vital building type, which represents an increasingly rare survival of this type of street furniture
* Despite its being a mass-produced structure, the casting is of good quality, and the building is far more decorative than would be strictly necessary for utility
* Group value with the nearby gentlemen's lavatories of similar date, and the other listed buildings and structures within Sydney Gardens

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