© 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


August 2011
Cut Bench MarkCuddesdon, Ripon College
Cut Bench Mark with BoltNottingham, St. Peter's Church
Cut Bench MarkNottingham, Shire Hall
Cut Bench Mark with BoltNottingham, St. Mary's Church
July 2011
Cut Bench MarkCholsey, Branch Line Railway Bridge
June 2011
UnknownRadley, Old Forge
Cut Bench MarkRadley, Thrupp Lane LC
RivetLower Radley, Thames Path
RivetLower Radley
Cut Bench MarkToot Baldon, The Mole Inn
Cut Bench MarkGarsington, Stone House Cottage
Cut Bench MarkSandford-on-Thames, Basimore Cottage
Cut Bench MarkAbingdon, Abingdon Bridge
Cut Bench MarkOxford, Warneford Hospital
Cut Bench MarkLlanasa, Wall
Flush BracketS7544 - Beaumaris, Post Office
Cut Bench MarkBeaumaris, Town Hall
Cut Bench MarkPentraeth, Old Railway Bridge
Cut Bench MarkLlanfachraeth, Pont Dronwy
Fundamental BenchmarkHolyhead FBM
Cut Bench MarkHolyhead, New Park Road
Flush BracketG4916 - Bryn Hyfryd
Triangulation PillarS7307 - Pendefig
Triangulation PillarS7328 - Aberffraw
Cut Bench MarkHermon, Opp Front Lodge
Triangulation PillarS7294 - Hermon
May 2011
Cut Bench MarkCaernarfon, Pen Deitsh Arch
Cut Bench MarkLlanfaglan, Pont Faen
Cut Bench MarkTrefor, Nr Cappas Iwyd
Cut Bench MarkTrefor, 50 Croes-Higol Road
Flush Bracket11983 - Pistyll, Capel Bethania
Cut Bench MarkNefyn, Bodeilias
Cut Bench MarkTudweiliog, Towyn Farm
Cut Bench MarkRhiw, Pen Y Groes
Cut Bench MarkRhiw Hill
Cut Bench MarkSarn Bach, Bodlondeb
Cut Bench MarkCriccieth, Railway Bridge
Cut Bench MarkAberdovey, A493 Wall
Flush BracketS0349 - Machynlleth
Cut Bench MarkDidcot, 100 Abingdon Road
Cut Bench MarkAbingdon, Our Lady's School
Cut Bench MarkAbingdon, Oxford Road
Cut Bench MarkAbingdon, Our Lady and St. Edmund Church
Cut Bench MarkAbingdon, 34 St Johns Road
Cut Bench MarkAbingdon, Radley Road BS
Cut Bench MarkAbingdon, 87 Radley Road
Cut Bench MarkSwyncombe, St. Botolph's Church
UnknownGreat Shefford, Manor Farm
Triangulation PillarS2526 - East Garston
Cut Bench MarkGreat Shefford, St Mary's Church
DestroyedBerinsfield, Fane Drive
Cut Bench MarkEwelme, Watercress Beds
Cut Bench MarkBrightwell Baldwin, St Bartholomew's Church
Cut Bench MarkChalgrove, Hampden's Monument
Cut Bench MarkDrayton St Leonard, St Leonard's Church
Flush Bracket2015 - Brightwell Baldwin, Lord Nelson PH
Cut Bench MarkOxford, Randolph Hotel
Cut Bench MarkSouth Stoke, St Andrew's Church
Triangulation PillarS5731 - White Hill
RivetWallingford, Bradford's Bridge
PivotWallingford, Milestone, Oxford 13
Cut Bench MarkReading, St Bartholomew's Church
Cut Bench MarkReading, London Road, Cemetery Wall
Cut Bench MarkAbingdon Lock, Boundary Stone
RivetAbingdon Lock
April 2011
Cut Bench MarkNorth Cerney, Nordown Farm
Triangulation PillarS2532 - Matcham Park
Flush BracketG2909 - Bisterne Close
Flush BracketG2888 - Burley Street
Triangulation PillarS2590 - Pentridge Hill
Cut Bench MarkCranborne, Stone Hill Wood, Milestone
Flush BracketS0931 - Kensington Gore, Royal Geographical Society
Cut Bench MarkWestminster, Bayswater Road, Victoria Gate
Cut Bench MarkWestminster, Victoria and Albert Museum
RivetWestminster, Exhibition Road
Cut Bench MarkWestminster, Bayswater Road, Marlborough Gate
Cut Bench Mark with BoltPaddington St James, Sussex Gardens
March 2011
Triangulation PillarS5726 - Lough Down


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)