© 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.
Cuddesdon, Ripon College
Nottingham, St. Peter's Church
Nottingham, Shire Hall
Nottingham, St. Mary's Church
Cholsey, Branch Line Railway Bridge
Radley, Old Forge
Radley, Thrupp Lane LC
Lower Radley, Thames Path
Toot Baldon, The Mole Inn
Garsington, Stone House Cottage
Sandford-on-Thames, Basimore Cottage
Abingdon, Abingdon Bridge
Oxford, Warneford Hospital
S7544 - Beaumaris, Post Office
Beaumaris, Town Hall
Pentraeth, Old Railway Bridge
Llanfachraeth, Pont Dronwy
Holyhead, New Park Road
G4916 - Bryn Hyfryd
S7307 - Pendefig
S7328 - Aberffraw
Hermon, Opp Front Lodge
S7294 - Hermon
Caernarfon, Pen Deitsh Arch
Llanfaglan, Pont Faen
Trefor, Nr Cappas Iwyd
Trefor, 50 Croes-Higol Road
11983 - Pistyll, Capel Bethania
Tudweiliog, Towyn Farm
Rhiw, Pen Y Groes
Sarn Bach, Bodlondeb
Criccieth, Railway Bridge
Aberdovey, A493 Wall
S0349 - Machynlleth
Didcot, 100 Abingdon Road
Abingdon, Our Lady's School
Abingdon, Oxford Road
Abingdon, Our Lady and St. Edmund Church
Abingdon, 34 St Johns Road
Abingdon, Radley Road BS
Abingdon, 87 Radley Road
Swyncombe, St. Botolph's Church
Great Shefford, Manor Farm
S2526 - East Garston
Great Shefford, St Mary's Church
Berinsfield, Fane Drive
Ewelme, Watercress Beds
Brightwell Baldwin, St Bartholomew's Church
Chalgrove, Hampden's Monument
Drayton St Leonard, St Leonard's Church
2015 - Brightwell Baldwin, Lord Nelson PH
Oxford, Randolph Hotel
South Stoke, St Andrew's Church
S5731 - White Hill
Wallingford, Bradford's Bridge
Wallingford, Milestone, Oxford 13
Reading, St Bartholomew's Church
Reading, London Road, Cemetery Wall
Abingdon Lock, Boundary Stone
North Cerney, Nordown Farm
S2532 - Matcham Park
G2909 - Bisterne Close
G2888 - Burley Street
S2590 - Pentridge Hill
Cranborne, Stone Hill Wood, Milestone
S0931 - Kensington Gore, Royal Geographical Society
Westminster, Bayswater Road, Victoria Gate
Westminster, Victoria and Albert Museum
Westminster, Exhibition Road
Westminster, Bayswater Road, Marlborough Gate
Paddington St James, Sussex Gardens
S5726 - Lough Down
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