Street Furniture

Thank you to Frank Ferri who encouraged me to add this page to the web site when he wrote:

"Here few nostalgic items that survived right up to the late-1950s:

A.  Public Drinking Fountains

B.  Horse Troughs

C.  Public Gents' Urinals"



Public Drinking Fountains

Frank Ferri wrote:

"I remember these:

1.  On the corner of Mill Lane and Great Junction Street, Leith.  It was a cast iron  pillar in design, about 4 feet high with a half bowl protrusion at its base for dogs.

2.  On the corner of Waverley Bridge and Princes Street.

3.  At St Margaretís Well, at the base of Salisbury Crags, opposite Holyrood Palace.  It had cast iron drinking cups attached to a chain. I remember using this as a kid.

4.  At Hunter's Bog in Queen's Park, on the path up the slope, there used to be a lead pipe protruding from a rock at ground level with flowing fresh water, I assume draining of water, from Arthurís Seat or maybe Dunsappie Loch

These would not be very hygienic methods of drinking water by todayís standards. I can't think of any more in the city." *

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 26, 2010

I expect others may well think of more drinking fountains that were around the city in the 1950s:  e.g. Inverleith Park and other parks, Greyfriars' Bobby, one or more of the streets leading to the north from Princes Street.

Peter Stubbs:  April 3, 2010

Update 1

Thank you to Bob Sinclair who added:

5Princes Street, on the East side of the Art Gallery

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  April 4, 2010

Update 2

Thank you to Dave McDougall who added:

"I recall there being a drinking fountain on the corner of Princes Street and one of the streets leading to George Street.  I'm pretty certain it wasn't Castle Street ,so was either Frederick or Hanover Street (I think Frederick).

It was there until some time into the 1970s as I remember it as a young boy.  (I was born in '1966). It was one of those drinking fountains where you hold down a button and a jet of water sqooshes into the air.  (It was a terrible faux pas to put your mouth anywhere near the nozzle!)"

Dave McDougall:  September 23, 2010



Horse Troughs

Frank Ferri wrote:

"I remember these:

1.  Opposite Elm Row, , next to the park at Gayfield Square.

2.  Dock Place, Leith.

These were sited throughout the city for working Clydesdale horses.  As kids, we would sail paper boats in the troughs."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 26, 2010



Victorian Gents' Urinals

These were cast iron structures.  I remember them at:

1.  Yardheads, Leith, in the section behind Tiso Mini Market on Great Junction Street.  This was when Yardheads used to link up with King Street.

2.  St Andrew Street at the corner of Henderson Street, Leith.

3.  Underground urinal in the centre of the street near the Leith Walk end of Albert Street.

4.  Opposite Elm Row, at Gayfield Square.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 26, 2010


I also remember large underground urinals in front of Register House, lit partly by glazed panels on the pavement.  Their entrance was near the corner of Register Street and Princes Street.

Peter Stubbs:  April 3, 2010


Thank you to those who have provided updates to this list:

5 Grassmarket  A

6 Tollcross  A

7Foot of the Mound, opposite the Art Gallery
These were very convenient for tram and bus drivers, conductors and inspectors. 

6Orchard Brae, Comely Bank, outside Flora Stevenson School    **

**  These were gents toilets, but not Victorian, cast iron, so far as I know.  There were many toilets for use by tram and bus drivers / conductors / inspectors throughout Edinburgh, often near the tram and bus termini.                                   

Peter Stubbs:  April 5, 2010


 A = Terry McGuire, Coventry, Warwickshire, England:  April 3, 2010

 B = Bib Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  April 4, 2010





Bob Sinclair added:

"Another type of  street furniture  that might be considered is Railings. 

Unfortunately, I think bits were removed for the war effort, but still some people may have interesting photos or knowledge of the same.

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  April 5, 2010


Despite all the railings that were removed for the war effort, there are still many railings in place, particularly around Edinburgh New Town.

Some railings have been reinstated in recent years.  e.g. around the Art Galleries at the Foot of the Mound.

I think, as Bob suggests, if we were to include 'Railings' on this page it might be best to confine the list to give only some of the more prominent railings, particularly those that have been lost - ideally with photos of the railings.

Peter Stubbs:  April 5, 2010


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