Farrar Lamp Post (via Cathedral Precincts Viewpoint)

Elsewhere in the CHAS website we provide a summary of the busy life of Dean Farrar (1831-1903).  Towards the end of 2017 a hawk-eyed cathedral guide spotted a small metal plaque attached to the bottom of a cast iron lamp post (Image 1) close to the south west entrance to the cathedral building. It reads ‘To the memory of Dean Farrar 1903’ (Image 2).

Subsequent research (with major input from Steve Rogers) has enabled us to piece together several features that appear on the post:

  • The post incorporates a trade mark badge of a portcullis and chain (Image 3).  This tells us that it was cast by the William Sugg, cast iron lamp post foundry in Westminster.   We have spotted several other ‘William Sugg’ trademarks on posts in the Westminster area – including one excellent example in Hyde Park.
  • Before his appointment as Dean of Canterbury (1895-1903), Frederic Farrar had close connections to Westminster including as Canon (1876-1883), Rector of St Margaret’s (1876-1895), Archdeacon (1883-1895), and Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons (1890-1895).  It is tempting to surmise that on Farrar’s death the lamp post was provided by one of these institutions in his memory.
  • Another symbol that appears on this post is the ‘diamond’ of coded letters and numbers (Image 4).  Research at the National Archives suggests that this is a ‘Diamond Registration Mark’.  This scheme ran from the 1840s to the 1860s.  It tells us something of the nature of the material used, the date the application was made, and the location of the associated records (Image 6).
  • The post also bears a ‘collar’ indicating that it was post number 3A (we think – it’s not easy to read) .
  • Our final Image 7 shows the post as it left the site for restoration and (we hope) return to the southern cathedral Precincts.

For more information on this lamp post please click here.