Street Furniture




Jim Suddon

Morningside, Edinburgh

Thank you to Jim Suddon who wrote:

Drinking Fountains

"Several of Edinburgh's drinking fountains that have disappeared.

There was one at Mansfield Place beside the Traquair Centre. I have never seen it working as I was told the war stopped the parts being made.

There was one beside the Ross Fountain in Princes Street Gardens and, in fact, there were many such drinking fountains in Edinburgh.

They were still erecting them about the beginning of the 1960s. The last one I recall was at the junction of Waverley Bridge/Princes Street.  It was a large granite block in memory of Mr Gumley. He had been a prominent citizen of the town.

One of the reasons given for demise of the drinking fountains was vandalism and the other was that they were unhealthy.  I think their removal was sad as I am sure that people would use them now and save money on expensive bottled tap water."


"There were cast iron urinals painted green at the top of Rodney Street opposite the junction with East Claremont Street.   They were actually set into the lower gardens of Bellevue Crescent. They had no hand-wash facilities."

Jim Suddon, Morningside, Edinburgh:  August 31, 2012




Peter Stubbs


Thank you to Jim Suddon for sending his recollections above and (I hope) starting a little discussion on the subject of street furniture.

Drinking Fountains

"I remember seeing public drinking fountains in Inverleith Park and  Victoria Park.  I expect that, at one time, they would have been a feature of many of Edinburgh's parks.

There used to be a public drinking fountain on pillar that supports Greyfriar's Bobby - and a circular basin lower down, surrounding the pillar, for dogs to drink from.


"There used to be urinals:

-  underground at Tollcross, close to where the clock now stands.

-  underground at the Grassmarket, close to the junction with West Bow

- underground, beneath the pavement in front of Register House at the East End of Princes Street.  I remember these being large, and remember walking over the glass tiles set in the pavement that let in light to the urinals.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  July 19, 2014




Gordon Wright

Barnton, Edinburgh

Thank you to Gordon Wright who wrote:

Gayfield Square

"At the top of Gayfield Square, on Leith Walk, there was:

 an ornate, cast Iron public urinal (Gents' Toilet)

-   a drinking fountain and

-   a horse trough.

I remember the coalmen, etc etc giving their horses a drink there."

Leith Street

"There were also Ladies' and Gents' toilets on Leith Street, opposite the Deep Sea and Central chip shops.  The Gents was underground and the Ladies, I believe, was above it.

Between the toilet entrances, there was a 'Dr Who?' police box, which seemed to hold about 300 policemen.  Amazing!"

Gordon Wright, Barnton, Edinburgh:  July 22, 2014


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