Historic Lampposts In Beverley East Yorkshire Highlight Heritage

Historic Lampposts In Beverley East Yorkshire Highlight Heritage
Historic Lampposts In Highlight Heritage

A joint project has catalogued and refurbished historic iron cast lampposts in Beverley, East Yorkshire.

In an effort to preserve these valuable artefacts, Council, , and have teamed up.

There are 39 cast iron lampposts scattered throughout Beverley, highlighting the town’s industrial heritage.

The lamps date back to 1824 and are the oldest and largest group still in use in the United Kingdom. Though they are no longer powered by gas but instead electric, and many of their locations have changed over the years, they are still an important part of Beverley’s heritage.

Councillor , the Mayor of Beverley, explained:

“Although Beverley Town Council owns the cast iron lamps and we knew they were of historic value, we were not aware quite how significant they are until the Civic Society approached us about refurbishing them.” 

“We have a Service Level Agreement with East Riding of Yorkshire Council to provide general maintenance, but this was something different.  Proper restoration required the engagement of the Bell Group of Leeds, which specialises in working with historical items of this kind.” 

“The town is indebted to the Beverley Civic Society for raising this matter and creating a comprehensive catalogue of all the posts, their locations and history.”

Inscriptions and age are not the only things that make the Beverley lamps unique.  A search of other collections revealed no other collection that bore such detailed information about their castings, the oldest of which was created by engineer John Malam.

Beverley Civic Society said: 

“As far as we can discover, only Beverley had lamps that recorded the engineer (I•MALAM), the foundry (THORNCLIFFE IRON•WORKS) and the date (either 1824, 1825 or 1826) cast on the bases.”

“There are still 19 of these Georgian lampposts in use around the old streets of Beverley, converted to electricity after the 2nd World War. We have not found any earlier street lamps in the UK, nor even any others dated.”

“The UK led the world in gas street lighting, and British engineers were employed to light European cities such as Hamburg in 1844, a Malam project run from Hull with Yorkshire hardware.”

William Crosskill, the owner of Mill Lane Ironworks, was Malam’s successor when he sold his Beverley gas venture. A simpler wreath of leaves replaced Malam’s design on the base, and sometimes, but not always, CROSSKILL appeared on all four sides. There is no date on his 20 posts, but they probably date back to 1826. 

 In 1844, he was still making them, with the lanterns being made by J.R. Clark, the tinsmith who worked in Briggs & Powell’s shop, which is now Joules clothing store.

Councillor Johnson said: 

“This is a remarkable collection of lampposts and we are delighted to have worked with the Civic Society to restore them to their former glory. With the Society’s expertise, the Town Council’s funding and East Riding of Yorkshire Council support, we hope the people of Beverley will take pride in their newly brightened lampposts for many years to come.”

On Beverley Town Council’s website, you can find the full visual catalogue of the lamps produced by Beverley Civic Society. 

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