One of many fine old lamp posts in Clifton Village. The late, great Maggie Shapland apparently used to keep an eagle eye on them and make sure they were returned if they were ever carted off for repair. The Clifton Club lurks grandly in the background.
Although you may immediately think "gas lamp", here's an extract from Electric Arc Lamps in Bristol by Peter Lamb, published as a supplement to the Histelec News, newsletter of the Western Power Electricity Historical Society:
In looking at old photographs of late Victorian or early Edwardian scenes, many of you may have noticed very decorative street lights gracing the foregrounds. These lamp standards had long cylindrical shapes above the lamp, which distinguished them as being electric arc lamps. You may have wondered, like me, what was inside these housings. These cylinders, known colloquially at the turn of the century as “chimneys” were not chimneys at all, but housed the complex mechanisms regulating the carbon electrodes. Only two lamp standards of this distinctive design remain as street furniture on the Bristol streets and these are situated at The Mall, Clifton Village.