One of the interesting things I found in the Village were a number of metal grills, the precursor of the now familiar semi-prismatic lights. In these examples the cellar had a 'normal' window whose light came from a pit dug down below ground level. This pit was covered by a protective grill to stop people falling down it. The light might have been useful, but the pits often had water flowing down them in the winter and rubbish building up during the summer. Not an ideal combination.Semi-Prismatic Stall Board
This is a more sophisticated option. Here the vertical window is placed beneath the ground floor window so that it acts as a sort of attic light for the cellar. Some of the prisms are angled in order to diffuse the light but the majority would produce a spotlight effect.
The Improved Pavement Light Co. Ltd.
A quick Google for this company doesn't provide much illumination (boom! boom!) which is a little surprising as I'd spotted another of their items some time ago.
Wimbledon High Street SW19
Church Road SW19 A 'Marlborough' from the "Improved Pavement
Light Co. Ltd."
Wimbledon High Street SW19 The rather attractive colour of the glass is caused by the effect of ultra-violet rays on elements in the glass.
E. Maclean & Co., Glasgow (Wimbledon High Street)
Where most street furniture tends to be local, this example seems to be the exception that proves the rule. Intriguing though it is to find it so far south there's nothing I can find to explain how it might have ended up here. Quite a neat design though with less metal being used than most.
Lely's Semi Prism Lights
More holes than a Gruyer cheese, this particular example is outside a pub on the approach to Kingston. The pub is still open and presumably doesn't mind a bit of damp in the cellar now and then. Still, this particular lightwell raises the possibility of an American connection, mainly to Thaddeus Hyatt of New York. Could he have had a London agent, eager to make inroads into the Hayward Brothers business? This advert from Glassian seems to back that up.
Possibly an example of their 'Ferro-Glass' lightwell range, this is a pretty standard version of the Hayward model. More company details on Glassian's site.
The British Luxfer Prism Syndicate Ltd.
Glassian has a section about the British Luxfer Prism Syndicate Ltd on his superb resource page. The company were founded in 1898 and changed their name to British Luxfer in 1928, which narrows it down this particular example to a thirty year period!Hayward Brothers Ltd
Who's the daddy? As usual the company with the greatest representation are the Hayward Brothers.
I assume they could make a lightwell to fit your hole so the sizes would vary, although there appear to be at least a couple that
Wimbledon High Street SW19
I find the colours in some of these lights quite attractive, almost as though they've been made out of amythest.
Concrete Mounting The shape of things to come! Reinforced concrete must have been a lot cheaper and quicker than metal frames and would have had an air of modernity about it when first introduced. Regent Street in London is a good example of these early examples although America seems to have adapted them much earlier.
Barons Court Another interesting design with a striking black and white mosaic effect. I've seen a couple of these but they have been in very poor condition or mostly covered by tarmac. This is by far the best example I've spotted. Sadly also annonymous...