Toilet, lavatory, loo, WC … we all call it something different, but not many of us tend to call it a ‘Temple of Relief’ these days. Popular in the Victorian and Edwardian eras when they were mass produced by iron foundries like Macfarlane’s, cast iron public toilets were once a familiar sight in our city parks. Often decoratively ornate, they were proud architectural statements of a newly improved public sanitation programme. There are still survivors of these ironwork gems in cities like Bath, Bristol and Birmingham, but many are in a poor state of repair.
We were recently called in as specialist ironwork consultants to conduct a survey of this Victorian cast iron public convenience in Sydney Gardens, Bath as part of the Heritage Lottery ‘Parks for People’ bid to understand the former Pleasure Gardens. Andy has prepared and delivered a talk about this hidden treasure in Sydney Gardens – and its significance within the context of our precious ironwork heritage – alongside conservator Sally Strachey and Paul Maggs of Bath College. Shout if you’d like more information about this project from the Ironart team we’d be happy to talk to you.