Sunday, 12 February 2012

Victorian multitasking


With the extravagant Royal Courts of Justice in the background, this lampstand would always have to be elaborate to compete. However, there's a reason behind some of the ornamentation: it incorporates ventilation for the public toilets below. 

The lampstand was made by Walter Macfarlane & Co of Glasgow, responsible for much of Britain's Victorian ironwork. This design was an adapted 'lamp pillar no. 5': the standard design, as once visible in Holborn, had neither vents nor buttressing. 




3 comments:

HughB said...

I guess they could have done with one or two of these lampposts in Louisville Kentucky in 1981 - on Feb 13th that year, 2 miles of streets were blown up by a sewer explosion caused by an illegal release of hexane vapour from a soybean processing plant, says Wikipedia!

London Remembers said...

Great detective work, Caroline. Ventilation shafts are often disguised as something else and it can be fun identifying them. LondonRemembers has found 5 masquerading as monuments, listed at http://www.londonremembers.com/sites/dance-s-obelisk and there must be many others.

CarolineLD said...

What a great selection - I've managed to pass the Finsbury Circus one numerous times without noticing!

Hugh, that's quite an alarming story - let's hope London's vents and stink pipes are enough to protect us...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...