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Let Me Trigger Your Interest?

Let Me Trigger Your Interest?

In The Humble Trig Point

Trig point
Trig point

Walking to a Trig Point is an occupational hazard where I live, and always a welcome sight accompanied by a feeling of satisfaction when I reach one.  In the past I have considered adopting one of these white concrete pillars – just trying to decide which one!
Trig Points or Triangulation Pillars, as they are correctly known, have been around since 1936 whenBrigadier Martin Hotine introduced the first of these pillars in a field in Cold Ashby in Northamptonshire and began the re-triangulation of Great Britain.
Over 6,500 pillars were originally built to provide a solid base for the theodites or precision instruments used by the surveyors and to give more accurate readings.
The re-triangulation of Great Britain was to create the now familiar Ordnance Survey and National Grid with the system continuing to be used into 1980s – now replaced by satellite.
The majority of Trig Points are triangular in shape and made from concrete but there are some examples made from local stone and a few ‘Vanessas’ in Scotland – taller, cylindrical concrete pillars made in 1950s as part of the secondary triangulation in the Highlands of Scotland.
‘Vanessas’ were so-called because of a mispronunciation of ‘Venesta’, the name of the company which produced the tubes into which the concrete was poured.
As for adopting a Trig Point, I have taken the first step and contacted  Ordnance Survey directly to see if there is one in my area that is available and  hope, that if so, I can agree with the local landowner to be responsible for its upkeep. An excuse for a beautiful walk with a paintpot and brush!
Candida Hopkinson


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