© John Talbot. No images may be copied, downloaded or reproduced without prior written permission.

Explanation of Types

Type Description Examples
Flush Bracket 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).
Projecting Bracket 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
OSBM Bolt 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. Dorchester Abbey
Rivet 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
Pivot 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. Sutton Bridge
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. Conwy
Triangulation Pillar 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. Huntingland


December 2010
Cut Bench MarkWantage, 6B Grove Street
Cut Bench MarkWantage, St Peter and Paul Church
October 2010
Flush Bracket26 - Appleford Railway Bridge
August 2010
Cut Bench MarkCompton Beauchamp, Knighton Farm
Cut Bench MarkSteventon, St Michael's and All Angels
Triangulation PillarS4511 - Waddesdon Hill
Flush Bracket1992 - Waddesdon, Station Bridge
UnknownHerstmonceux, Observatory
Flush BracketG1806 - Herstmonceux, Solar Building
Triangulation Pillar11666 - Solar
Triangulation PillarS7288 - Herstmonceux
Cut Bench MarkEastbourne Pier
Cut Bench MarkBodiam Bridge
UnknownNorman's Bay
Cut Bench MarkNorman's Bay, Old Footbridge
July 2010
Triangulation PillarS4472 - Hertford Heath
Cut Bench MarkBayford Station
Cut Bench MarkBrickendon, The Farmers Boy
Triangulation PillarS5727 - Compton
Cut Bench MarkClifton Hampden, B4015
June 2010
UnknownLlanybydder, Teifi Bridge
Triangulation PillarS5796 - Penrallt-Y-Gardde
Cut Bench MarkLlanybydder, St Peter's Church
Cut Bench MarkLlanybydder, Highmead Terrace
Cut Bench MarkPembroke, Bush Hill (West)
Cut Bench MarkTenby, St Florence Parade
May 2010
Cut Bench MarkLlanddowror, Maes-Oland Farm
Cut Bench MarkKidwelly, Commissioner's Bridge
Triangulation PillarS3545 - Black Pill
Cut Bench MarkRedwick, St Thomas' Church
Flush BracketG1692 - Greenwich, Royal Observatory
Cut Bench Mark with BoltGreenwich, St. Alfege's Church
Cut Bench MarkGreenwich, Romney Road
Cut Bench Mark with BoltGreenwich, ORNC - King William's Quarter
Cut Bench Mark with BoltGreenwich, ORNC - Queen Mary's Quarter
Cut Bench MarkGreenwich, ORNC - North Lodge
Cut Bench Mark with BoltGreenwich, ORNC - King Charles' Quarter
April 2010
Cut Bench MarkHampton Court Pier
Cut Bench MarkCroft, Reservoir
Cut Bench MarkShobdon, St John the Evangelist Church
Cut Bench MarkWestminster, 25 Hyde Park Garden Mews
Triangulation PillarS5529 - The Begwns
Cut Bench MarkMoreton, Frampton Arms
Cut Bench MarkWeymouth, Nothe Fort
Cut Bench MarkWeymouth, Nothe Gardens
Cut Bench MarkWeymouth, Lifeboat Station
Cut Bench MarkWeymouth, 14 Custom House Quay
Cut Bench MarkWeymouth, 92 St Mary Street
Cut Bench MarkWeymouth, 1 Custom House Quay
OSBM BoltWeymouth, Custom House Quay, Tide Gauge BM
March 2010
Cut Bench MarkGreat Barrington, Barrington Park
Cut Bench MarkBerinsfield, Village Inn
Cut Bench MarkWeymouth, Town Bridge
January 2010
Cut Bench MarkLoughborough, Town Hall


All the bench marks I have logged. See my profile on the Bench Mark Database.

Show Help

By Type

Explanation of Types
Flush BracketFlush Bracket(247)
Projecting BracketProjecting Bracket(6)
OSBM BoltOSBM Bolt(16)
Cut Bench MarkCut Bench Mark(1987)
Cut Bench Mark with BoltCut Bench Mark with Bolt(134)
Fundamental BenchmarkFundamental Benchmark(8)
Triangulation PillarTriangulation Pillar(99)
 Show All(3490)

By Year

2023 (52)
2022 (94)
2021 (151)
2020 (224)
2019 (221)
2018 (452)
2017 (431)
2016 (385)
2015 (409)
2014 (256)
2013 (120)
2012 (21)
2011 (78)
2010 (54)
2009 (84)
2008 (79)
2007 (249)
2006 (17)
2005 (39)
2004 (72)
2003 (2)