© John Talbot. No images may be copied, downloaded or reproduced without prior written permission.
Explanation of Types
These are rectangular metal plates affixed to triangulation pillars, walls, buildings etc. If they are not affixed to a triangulation pillar they are often referred to as Non-Pillar Flush Brackets (NPFB). They are about 6" x 3" in size and the location of most of them is known through Ordnance Survey (OS) records. Each Flush Bracket (FB) has a unique serial number which makes them highly 'collectable' and there are several numbering types.
One to four figure number
The earliest FBs you can find and date from 1912-1921. Numbered from 1-3000. A few can be found on triangulation pillars.
Introduced in the 1920s these are found on pillars and as NPFBs. There are two sub-types, S below the number and S left of the number.
First appeared in 1936. Unlike S-series brackets numbers below 1000 do not have leading zeroes. Used extensively in Scotland and never found on triangulation pillars.
Just sixteen brackets used in London in the early 1930s.
Five figure number
These are effectively S-series brackets above S9999 where they ran out of room for the S (S-below was discontinued as the S interfered with the measuring equipment).
An early type of metal bracket used for a short time before the introduction of flush brackets. They are all the same and have no unique attributes.
Reading, Greyfriar's Church
Used alongside the G-series of flush brackets these are placed where there wasn't a convenient building or wall to provide a vertical surface on which to affix a flush bracket. They are domed metal bolts about 1" (50-60mm) in diameter fixed to horizontal surfaces engraved with OSBM and the benchmark symbol.
Caban Coch Dam
Cut Bench Mark
By far the most common type. Used and made from the 1800s to around 20 years ago. You won't have to walk (or drive) very far in any village, town or city in Britain before you spot one of these. Chiseled into stone, brick or wood on all sorts of vertical structures. A familiar horizontal levelling line with a three line arrow pointing towards it (usually upwards). Each one is unique depending on the mason who cut it, some are plain, some decorated. Some roughly cut, some exquisitely cut with high accuracy. Some small, some huge.
Wallingford, 60 High Street
Cut Bench Mark with Bolt
Old and rare these have a metal bolt screwed either alongside the horizontal cut of a cut bench mark or at the point of the cut arrowhead. Usually has what appears as a screwhead horizontal in the head of the bolt. These are highly prized by benchmarkers.
Usually found on horizontal surfaces these are cut marks with a small metal domed brass rivet at the apex of the cut arrowhead marks.
Swyncombe, Icknield Field
Fairly rare these are used on horizontal surfaces such as soft sandstone, where the insertion of a rivet would break away the stone. They consist of a small hole or depression cut to take a pivot, a steel ball bearing of 5/8" diameter (16mm). In use, the pivot is placed in the depression and the levelling staff held on top of the pivot.
Fundamental Bench Mark
These are the key to the whole levelling of the UK. Granite blocks with large domed metal caps. Just like an iceberg this is just the tip of a fairly extensive underground structure. Highly accurate height stations still used today as the baseline to levelling.
Familiar to anyone who walks in the British countryside, these can often (but not always) be found at hilltops. Most have a flush bracket affixed to one side.
Appleby, Jubilee Bridge
Appleby, King George's Field
Appleby, Kingdom Hall
Bexhill-on-Sea, De La Warr Parade (4)
Chipping Norton, 58 West Street
Cross of Greet
Culham, Sutton Bridge
Drayton, Steventon Road BS
Eastbourne, Marine Parade
Eaton Hastings, St Michael's Church
Edinburgh, 1 Minto Street
Edinburgh, 1 Randolph Place
Edinburgh, 10/11 Bright's Crescent
Edinburgh, 125 George Street
Edinburgh, 13-15 Manor Place
Edinburgh, 16 Spittal Street
Edinburgh, 2 Stafford Street
Edinburgh, 20 Magdala Crescent
Edinburgh, 21 Leith Street
Edinburgh, 22 Douglas Crescent
Edinburgh, 36/38 Craigmillar Park
Edinburgh, 37-39 St Andrew Square
Edinburgh, 62 Palmerston Place
Edinburgh, 7 Craigmillar Park
Edinburgh, 8 Magdala Crescent
Edinburgh, 9 Douglas Crescent
Edinburgh, Broughton Place Church
Edinburgh, Calton Hill Blocked Entrance
Edinburgh, Calton Hill Path Junction
Edinburgh, Calton Hill Steps
Edinburgh, Edinburgh Castle, New Barracks
Edinburgh, Edinburgh Castle, Portcullis Gate
Edinburgh, Greenside Church
Edinburgh, Johnston Terrace / Upper Bow
Edinburgh, Market Street
Edinburgh, North Bank Street
Edinburgh, Princes Street opp. 60 Princes Street
Edinburgh, Princes Street opp. Castle Street
Edinburgh, Princes Street opp. Frederick Street
Edinburgh, Princes Street opp. Halifax Bank
Edinburgh, Princes Street opp. Tram Stop
Edinburgh, Queen Street / Queen Street Gardens East
Edinburgh, Queen Street / Queen Street Gardens West
Edinburgh, Queen Street / Wemyss Place
Edinburgh, Queen Street Gardens opp. #50 Queen Street
Edinburgh, Regent Road / Hume Walk
Edinburgh, Royal Scottish Academy
Edinburgh, Shandwick Place
Edinburgh, The Mound
Edinburgh, The Mound / Mound Place
Edinburgh, West Princes Street Gardens
Embleton, Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Course
Great Missenden, St Peter & St Paul's Church
Hampton Court, Barge Walk
Hepburn, Roadside Rock
Newbury, Newtown Road Cemetery Lodge
Oswestry Golf Club
Oxford, 56 St Giles
Oxford, Christchurch Meadow Sluice
Plymouth, 21 Oxford Place
Wallingford, Milestone, Oxford 13
Westminster, Hyde Park, The Serpentine
Westminster, Kensington Gardens, The Broad Walk BS
Westminster, Westbourne Terrace
Westray, Gallo Hill
Westray, Knucker Hill
Westray, West Kirbest
All the bench marks I have logged. See my profile on the
Bench Mark Database
by clicking below.
Click on a
on the right-hand panel to see the details for that bench mark.
Use mouse wheel or icons top-left to zoom.
Click and hold to pan.
Click on icon to see details.
Click on thumbnail to see full size image.
Change the map background using the icon in the top-right corner.
Use the cross/plus icons to hide/show the side panels.
Explanation of Types
Cut Bench Mark
Cut Bench Mark with Bolt