the triangle Lavatories

the triangle Lavatories

Malodorous public conveniences


The provision of a public lavatory in Yeovil had been discussed by the Borough Council from after the First World War. By July 1920, the decision of where to locate the conveniences had come down to two locations; the Borough and the Triangle - with the former being favoured initially (this was, of course, before the War Memorial was erected the following year).

The underground toilets, almost centrally-placed in the Triangle, opened in June 1923 and closed and were covered over in August 1971 (see Gallery). The recent Triangle bandstand was built in the 1990's and removed in the summer of 2022 as part of the 'Yeovil Refresh' scheme - which also temporarily uncovered the former lavatories (see gallery).



A postcard of about 1920, before the construction of the underground toilets.



From my collection  -  This photograph features in my book 'Yeovil From Old Photographs'

A postcard of 1927 with the completed toilets (albeit without the later railings) in front of the Co-op building with the Palace Theatre seen at extreme left.


Almost as soon as they were opened at the beginning of June 1923, there were problems with "mischievous Yeovil boys" at the new conveniences in the Triangle - as seen from this report in the 15 June 1923 edition of the Western Chronicle


From my collection  -  This photograph features in my book 'Yeovil From Old Photographs'.

The Triangle, now with completed underground lavatories, in the late 1920s, taken from a postcard.


An aerial view of the Triangle dating to 1928 with the Co-operative Society's building and underground toilets in the centre. Note the old Palace Theatre at top left, on the corner of South Street and Stars Lane.


From my collection

The Triangle, looking down Lower Middle Street, in a postcard of about 1940. Note the underground toilets at right.


From my collection

The Triangle, looking down Lower Middle Street, in a postcard of about 1944. Note the underground toilets at right, now with black and white markings painted on so that traffic would stand a better chance of seeing it in the blackout.

This photograph features in my book "Lost Yeovil"

By the time of this postcard of the 1930s, the underground toilets had been built in the Triangle.


The three gas-fired Sugg lamps were replaced by a single electric light, seen in this photograph, in the mid-1920s and the same happened at the junction of High Street and Princes Street. Since the Co-op is in the old Jesty's building at extreme right this photo must be after about 1954, but because the Coronation Hotel is still standing at extreme left it must be before about 1964.


This late 1930s or early 1940s photograph is taken from the Triangle and looks up Middle Street with the Coronation Hotel & Vaults at right and the Co-operative building, later Porter Black's, at left - in front of which the underground toilets are decorated in mock Art Deco ziggy-zaggy black and white presumably so that cars don't drive into it in the blackout - as if.


The Co-op building (later to be Porter Black's) is still there as are the old underground toilets in this photo of the late 1950s. The Coronation Hotel at right is lacking its signage. Note that the black and white Art Deco painting on the toilets has gone - presumably because traffic didn't bash into it after all.

From the Cave collection (colourised). Courtesy of South Somerset District Council

Looking across the Triangle in this 1958 photograph towards Stars Lane and South Street. The building at right is no longer occupied by the Co-operative Society and the toilets are at left.

A photograph of the 1950s looks north across the Triangle from South Street towards the underground toilets and the Coronation Hotel & Vaults beyond.

A 1960's photograph of the Triangle. The lovely building that was the Coronation Hotel has been replaced by Yeovil's unsightly concrete legacy of the 1960s. The underground lavatories remain at this time.


This photograph features in my book 'Now That's What I Call Yeovil'

The Triangle toilets in August 1971.


The malodorous underground lavatories were closed in the early 1970s and this photo was taken during August 1971. Based on this photo, I always thought that the the toilets were completely dug up and the hole filled in - go to the bottom of this page and you'll see that I was wrong.


Looking across the Triangle in August 1971.


The 2022 Excavation (A "Time Team Special")


From the summer of 2022 the Triangle is going through a re-vamp.

After me believing (based on a couple of the photos above) that the toilets in the Triangle were dug out and the hole was backfilled, it appears that the fittings were removed and the whole of the underground lavatories were capped over. The following three photos, all taken in October 2022, were sent to me by Owen Martin of SWH Contracting.