Boost for The Loovre as it has been listed

The site of historic public toilets in Berwick has been listed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 4th September 2020, 7:01 pm
Today, the building is an ice cream parlour called the Loovre. Picture courtesy of Historic England.

The former Bankhill ladies public convenience, which opened in 1899, is significant as it is a rare early example of a lavatory that catered for women.

Resembling a miniature rustic cottage, the design artfully obscured its purpose to shield sensitive Victorians from the reality of public urination.

Inside were three WCs, a wash hand basin, white glazed wall tiles and a floor of decorative Minton tiles.

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Being listed at Grade II will give it greater protection and recognition.

The toilets remained in use until the 1950s. Since then, the building has been used as a council storage facility and today it is an ice cream parlour – The Loovre.

A restoration of it was carried out in the last decade by Berwick-upon-Tweed Preservation Trust, with additional support and funds from Berwick Town Council and the Portas Pilot Project.

Veronica Fiorato, team leader for listing in Northern England, said: “Many people often think of listed buildings only as churches, castles and grand stately homes, but buildings like toilets are also an important part of our nation’s rich history.

“The toilets in Berwick were an example of the gradual opening up of facilities previously unavailable to women.”