On the ride back to the hotel from the Henna Night Party for Joel and Roja last year in Dublin, the cab driver pointed out the window and said, “There’s the Five Lamps.”
We looked and sure enough, there stood a lamp-post with five lanterns. One of us asked about why the lamp-post had significance.
The cab driver said, “Because it has five lamps.” A true answer, but somewhat obvious.
We asked again and he replied, “It is the only one in Dublin.” Not so obvious, but hardly a significant increase in information.
We tried once more and learned no more. I for one gave up. It was dark so I did not get a photo. I guess that is a reason to return.
Tonight, because the 1 Train was crowded, I opted to walk part way home. On Broadway, where I have been before, I noticed the Five Lamps Tavern.
I figure there is a connection. Some Internet searching has proven about as helpful as our Dublin cabbie.
However, from the Dublin City Libraries, I have learned about the lamp-post in Dublin:
The Five Lamps were put up around 1880 as a memorial to General Henry Hall from Galway who had served with the British Army in India. They were originally a water fountain with four basins at their base. Water gushed from the spouts in the shape of lions’ heads. Cups hung from chains over the basins, so that the locals could have a drink. At that time people were poor and had no running water in their homes. The fountain was probably also used as a watering trough for horses to have a drink as well.
Some mystery remains:
Some people think that the name “five lamps” comes from the five streets which meet at this point; others believe that they commemorate five major battles fought in India during the days of the British Empire.
But I know more than I did before. And someday I can learn about the Five Lamps Tavern and possible connections.
See you along the Trail.