© 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.
Bradenham, St. Botolph's Church
S1522 - Cutsdean Hill
112 - Tadpole Bridge
Abingdon, Wilts and Berks
Bessels Leigh, The Greyhound
Didcot, Milton Road
Ullesthorpe, The Swan Inn
Ullesthorpe, Hill Brow
S9664 - Ullesthorpe, Railway Bridge
S6936 - Greenham
Middle Barton, The Thatched House
Westcott Barton, St Edward's Church
Middle Barton, 4 North Street
North Moreton, White Lees
Swanage, Station Road
10422 - Corfe Castle, Pumping Station
Edinburgh, 20/21 West Mayfield
Edinburgh, Mayfield North Church
Edinburgh, 10/11 Bright's Crescent
Edinburgh, 8 Mayfield Gardens
Edinburgh, 7 Craigmillar Park
Edinburgh, 36/38 Craigmillar Park
Edinburgh, Newington Station
Earley, St Peter's Church (W)
Earley, St Peter's Church
Builth Wells, Groe Street
S0741 - Builth Wells, St Mary's Church
S0740 - Builth Wells, Wyeside Arts Centre
Builth Wells, The Strand
Builth Wells, Wye Bridge
Builth Wells, Strand Street
Builth Wells, 16 Market Street
Hay-on-Wye, Heol Y Dwr
Hay-on-Wye, St Mary's Road
Hay-on-Wye, St Mary's Church
Hay-on-Wye, George House
2698 - Hay, Crown Hotel
Hay-on-Wye, Old Police Station
Hay-on-Wye, St John's Chapel
Hay-on-Wye, NatWest Bank
Great Missenden, St Peter & St Paul's Church
Great Missenden, Whitefield Lane
Great Missenden, High Street
South Moreton, Railway Bridge
Lockinge, Drain Surround
Ardington, Orpwood's Barn
Ardington, Old School
Lockinge, School Road
Edinburgh, University Engineering Building
Edinburgh, University Zoology Building
Westminster, Elizabeth Tower
Westminster, Charing Cross Pier
Westminster, Hungerford Bridge
Westminster, Bazalgette Memorial
Westminster, Whitehall Stairs
Lambeth, County Hall Steps
2763 - Knockin, Bridge
2764 - Pentre-clem
G3295 - Knockin Heath
Knockin, St Mary's Church
Knockin, Ivy House Farm
Oswestry, Beatrice Street
Oswestry, 25 Beatrice Street
Oswestry, Christ Church
Oswestry, Horse Market
S3121 - Oswestry Station
Oswestry, Ardmillan Lane
2646 - Oswestry, St Oswald's Church
Oswestry, St Oswald's Church
Oswestry, 8-10 Cross Street
Oswestry, 23 Bailey Street
Oswestry, 15 Albion Hill
G3033 - Oswestry, Railway Inn
Oswestry Golf Club
Queen's Head, Milestone
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