Ornate Cast-iron Lamppost (1874). Granite plinth, green-painted bronze shaft with a design of oak leaves and acorns, two cornucopias and two climbing boys, surmounted by a lamp. [Click on these images for larger pictures.]

Location: Chelsea Embankment, London. The lamppost is just east of the Albert Bridge, and the east face of the plinth records the opening of the Chelsea Embankment in May 1874. It gives the names of the Chairman of the Metropolitan Board of Works (Sir James Hogg) and its chief engineer (Sir Joseph Bazalgette). For more details see "Climbing Boys, Sculptural Lamp-Post, Chelsea Embankment."

Left to right: (a) Another view. (b) Decoration on the cast-iron base: a caduceus symbolizing commerce and a trident symbolizing naval supremacy plus “Coalbrookdale,” crediting the foundry that cast the commemorative lamppost. (c) A Cornucoppia. [Inscription on stone base commemorating the opening of Chelsea Embankment and crediting “Lieut. Colonel Sir James Macnachten Hogg K.C.B. M.P. / Chairman of the Metroplitan Board of Works / and Sir Joseph William Bazalgette C B. / Engineer. ”

The new electric street lighting, installed between Westminster and Charing Cross in 1878, was an early tourist attraction, its first trial recorded by Charles Dickens, Jr, in his Dictionary of London (1879).

Photograph at upper right and all text by Jacqueline Banerjee. Formatting and other photographs by George P. Landow. You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]


Dickens, Charles Jr. Dictionary of London. Viewed 24 August 2007.

"Dolphin Lampstandards, Victoria Embankment." Viewed 25 August 2007.

Halliday, Stephen. Making the Metropolis: Creators of Victorian London. Derby: Breedon Books, 2003.

Last modified 29 August 2007