Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Argyll And Bute
Planning Authority
Argyll And Bute
NS 08835 64828
208835, 664828


1899, commissioned by Rothesay Harbour Trustees; refurbished late 20th century. Rare and exceptional single storey, rectangular-plan public convenience with important decorative interior; male lavatory to S, female to N. Coloured, glazed bricks arranged in rectangular patterns; glazed brick base course, eaves course; moulded timber eaves incorporating rhones. Moulded bricks forming segmental-arched door-surround to south; slightly raised glazed bricks surrounding 2 entrances off-set to right of centre (reproductions later 20th century).

E (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: segmental-arched timber panelled door at ground off-set to left of centre; shouldered, architraved door-surround, raised keystone. 2-bay wing advanced to right of centre breaking eaves; 2 square-headed timber panelled doors centred at ground; slightly raised stylised keystones.

INTERIOR: MALE LAVATORY: (seen 2010) ceramic tiles to walls; foliate and geometric detailing to tiling beneath dado; roll-moulded architrave; decorative frieze. Patterned ceramic mosaic floor (Rothesay Burgh crest at entrance). Twyfords Ltd, Cliffe Vale potteries, Hanley, "St Ann's marble"; 14 urinals along outer walls; central hexagonal Adamant urinal range; white enamel alcoves; dark marble dressings (dark glaze on clay base); 3 glass-sided marble cisterns above wall-mounted urinal stalls; copper plumbing to all. W wall cubicles; plain timber panelled doors set in architraved surrounds; 4 heavy marble hand basins. Metal roof girders; gas-light fittings.

FEMALE LAVATORY: late 20th century fittings (formerly a store area).

Graded grey slate piended and platformed roof; tripartite rooflights above male lavatory. Decorative cast-iron brattishing.

Statement of Special Interest

The West Pier Public Convenience is an outstanding and rare surviving example of a high-quality Victorian public convenience built at the height of Rothesay's fame as a holiday destination. The public convenience is richly detailed and uses high quality materials, including marble sinks, characteristic of Rothesay's status during this period. It has an exceptional interior which includes a range of decorative tiles, sinks brass pipework and urinals. The majority of the fixtures and fittings were produced by Twyfords and are exceptional examples of the work of the company from this date.

The building was deliberately lavish to impress visitors and indicate the wealth and status of the town. The interior fittings were supplied by Twyfords Ltd of Glasgow for £530. The convenience was originally built without a female lavatory, but recent upgrading has formed a female lavatory in the N half of the building (previously used as an office/store).

Rothesay is one of Scotland's premier seaside resorts, developed primarily during the second half of the 19th and the early 20th centuries, and it incorporates an earlier medieval settlement. The town retains a wide range of buildings characteristic of its development as a high status 19th century holiday resort, including a range of fine villas, a Victorian pier and promenade.

The history and development of Rothesay is defined by two major phases. The development of the medieval town, centred on Rothesay Castle, and the later 19th and early 20th century development of the town as a seaside resort. Buildings from this later development, reflect the wealth of the town during its heyday as a tourist destination, and include a range of domestic and commercial architecture of a scale more often found in larger burghs. Both the 19th and early 20th century growth of the town, with a particular flourish during the inter-war period, included areas of reclaimed foreshore, particularly along the coast to the east of the town and around the pier and pleasure gardens.

(List description revised and category changed from B to A as part of Rothesay listing review 2010-11)



st Edition Ordnance Survey (1855-64) not evident; J Maccallum, "Wish You Were Here": a picture postcard view of Edwardian Bute p6; L Lambton, Temples of Convenience (1978), illustration no 41; B Edwards, Scottish Seaside Towns (1986) p124; F Walker & F Sinclair North Clyde Estuary: An Illustrated Architectural Guide (1992) p150; F A Walker, Buildings of Scotland: Argyll and Bute (2000) pp 615-29.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 17/08/2022 15:20