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12th May 2023

Have you noticed The Five Lamps in Dublin’s North Strand area

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Do you know the Five Lamps?

Have you ever wondered what the story with the Five Lamps drinking fountain is?

The popular landmark is a decorative lamp post with five lanterns, which stands at the junction of five streets – Portland Row, North Strand Road, Seville Place, Amiens Street and Killarney Street.⁠

It was erected in 1880, in memory of General Henry Hall, who served in India in the Bengal Army; he hoped the drinking fountain below the lamps would encourage sobriety, which is ironic given that it lends its name to a well-known Dublin brewery now.

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The structure has artistic significance due to the high level of craftsmanship as well as being an example of the progress in public lighting and cast-iron production in the late 19th century.

The Five Lamps themselves are lucky to still be standing. During World War II, three bombs were dropped by German planes in the North Strand area, killing 28 people, injuring 90 and damaging 300 houses nearby. Somehow, the Five Lamps survived the attack.⁠

Today the phrase “Do you know the Five Lamps” is a very Dublin way of telling someone where to go (or to f*ck off essentially). Aside from anything else, they remain a beloved emblem of North City Dublin.

Header image via Flickr 

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