This lamp burns gas from the sewers. It’s an engineering marvel from the Victorian age, together with Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, the Embankment and Tower Bridge. Amazingly, it’s still standing, and still burning sewer gas, now renamed “biogas”. The notice on the fence says:
The adjacent street light is the last remaining sewer gas destructor lamp in the City of Westminster. Installed in association with Sir Joseph Bazalgette’s revolutionary Victoria Embankment sewer which opened in 1870, this cast iron ornamental lamp standard with original lantern continues to burn residual biogas.City of Westminster, notice in Carting Lane
The original purpose of the lamps was not to light the streets but to burn off sewer gas, with the aim of reducing odours, exterminating bacteria in the sewer gas and reducing the explosion risk. Some town gas is drawn in with the sewer gas to make sure the lamp stays alight and does its job. The lamp is alight night and day. This was alight at 2pm.
There’s an article about the lamps on this link .
Carting Lane runs down from the Strand to the Thames Embankment, right next to the Savoy Hotel. I drew the picture standing above the lamp, looking down the lane towards the Thames. Here’s a map.
Here is work in progress:
The colours in the picture are:
- Ultramarine Blue and Lavender for the sky,
- Serpentine Genuine/Burnt Umber/Fired Gold Ochre/ Mars Yellow for the mid-tones
- Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber mix for the blacks and greys
- Transparent Pyrrol Orange for the 20mph sign on the lamppost.