Esoteric London

No. 459: Star Yard, WC2

Posted in Street Furniture by esotericlondon on December 1, 2011

Star Yard, London, WC2. Photo © Roger Dean 2011

The Streets of London – Thomas Burke, 1940:

The [eighteen] eighties brought yet another innovation, and it seems strange to us that Londoners could have managed without it, especially remembering that nearly every street and yard at that time bore the notice – Commit No Nuisance or Decency Forbids. In the roadway of Trafalgar Square, by King Charles’ statue, was sunk the first of the town’s proper public conveniences.

[ The above photograph is of a double doorway urinal, or pissoir as they were sometimes called, in Star Yard just off Chancery Lane. It was manufactured by McDowall Steven and Co, Milton Ironworks in Glasgow and featured in an episode of Rumpole of the Bailey when Leo McKern used its facilities. Should you be heading home after a pint or two in The Seven Stars on Carey Street and require its facilities nowadays you will of course be disappointed as it is padlocked shut as are so many of London’s public conveniences. R.D.]

One Response

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  1. London Sound Survey (@LondonSounds) said, on December 1, 2011 at 10:19 am

    What an intriguing find! Have always liked the little alleys and yards off Fleet Street, but have never noticed the pissoir before.

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