You can see the lights of Glasgow from here!

This is the last of a four part series on ironwork in Halifax that was made by the Walter Macfarlane Company in Glasgow Scotland. All the others pieces I’ve shown are well known, like the gates to the Public Garden, but I suspect you may never have stopped to appreciate the five lamp posts near the Lodge at the South Park Street entrance to Point Pleasant Park.


The  ornate, art nouveau-style bases are helpfully marked and dated “Glasgow Corporation Lighting Department 1900”  with a Macfarlane mark on the back.  Below is an older photo, they are now beautifully restored.

Cast iron, MacFarlane 021

Glasgow street lights, that’s a little strange don’t you think?  Gets stranger. They were presented to the city by General K.C. Appleyard, a British industrialist. In the 1960s he was associated with Industrial Estates, established to attract businesses to Nova Scotia. Over lunch at the Halifax Club he apparently brought together the guys who formed Halifax Developments to create Scotia Square! I wonder if  the cast iron Glasgow light standards give some insight into General Appleyard’s character (sort of like Rosebud the sled).

The lamp poles were erected first at the Tower Road entrance to the Park in 1967 and for decades appeared to get little attention from the public or the city. At one point their original hanging lamps were replaced with a particularly ugly and inappropriate fixture.

Cast iron, MacFarlane 022

But, now restored, they  are happy companions to the fanciful Lodge;  part of a miniature Victorian district of the Park.


 Post Script

  • When we visited Glasgow in October I watched for similar lamp standards and noticed only one base identical to ours,  at the entrance to the Botanic Gardens. That’s the Glasgow coat of arms on the side.


Today I did an internet search and found a historic photo of one of our lamp designs in front of a Glasgow pub. Neat to see an original context and light fixture. Wonder if there would be any singing under the lamp at closing time or just fights.

lamp post

  • In the 60s and 70s we loved the art nouveau style. Local artist Roger Hupman did a rubbing of  the art nouveau designs on one of the Halifax lamp bases and then added some bright colour.  I bought his textile piece in about 1979  because cast iron and Macfarlane! Here it hangs in the bathroom of our house on Inglis Street  c1982.



About the author

Stephen Archibald

It’s Stephen Archibald doing the noticing. I’m a huge fan of Nova Scotia’s material culture and cultural landscapes. Twitter (@Cove17 ) made me realize I could share what attracted my attention (perfect for my very short attention) and I’m gratified when folks enjoy my content. Pleased to meet you on the internet.