Ordnance Survey Bench Marks suitable as a stop?

I've just had a Ordnance Survey Bench marks (BMs) rejected as a stop as it didn't meet the criteria for a stop. Can anyone help explain why it doesn't meet the desired criteria?

Bench Marks are of historical importance as they were survey marks made by Ordnance Survey to record height above Ordnance Datum. If the exact height of one BM is known, the exact height of the next can be found by measuring the difference in heights, through a process of spirit levelling.

Bench marks are the visible manifestation of Ordnance Datum Newlyn (ODN), which is the national height system for mainland Great Britain and forms the reference frame for heights above mean sea level.

The network has had little maintenance for 30 years, but there are these marks, flush brackets and trig pillars all round the UK and interesting features to find in your own town, village or city when out playing Pokemon Go.

Admitted my picture isn't great but it's location and description is on the national database of Bench Marks.

My photo is the one scanned at 07:07. Its the same marking as the second & third picture is of a Bench Mark that has been approved in another area of the UK.


  • Leedle95-PGOLeedle95-PGO Posts: 217 ✭✭✭

    From the picture, I can’t tell what you nominated. It looks just like a brick wall. If it’s the little groove cut in one brick, it seems generic and not uniquely identifiable. Can you describe why this spot is a great place to explore? Everything has a history, but why is the history of these worth coming to see?

  • MachuPicchu2-PGOMachuPicchu2-PGO Posts: 3 ✭✭

    There is a Trig finder app and it includes the locations of these Bench Marks. When I was on holiday my son and I used the app to see if we could go find them.

    As their use has diminished they aren't being maintained but they do hold a significance in cartographic history.

    My son really enjoyed trying to read the map and try and locate them. He also enjoyed learning about them. Since returning back home we've noticed three visible ones in our town that we've walked past for years and never noticed them. But for years they were the building blocks accurate mapping (before satellites).

    Admittedly it just looks like a scratch on a wall, but the history is deeper than that if a trainer invests some time reading up on them.

  • Faversham71-INGFaversham71-ING Posts: 687 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Generally benchmarks have been considered too common place to be a POI. Flush plates usually get accepted as will full trig points.

  • DukeOfBellaire-PGODukeOfBellaire-PGO Posts: 110 ✭✭✭

    In USA, I have seen some geodetic survey markers become Waystops. But they are small and an educational explanation with a website link about OS for UK can be a success. I would also avoid mentioning words like "road" and "bench". And expand OS to Ordnance Survey.

    When I first learned about U.S. National Geodetic Survey (NGS) through Wayfarer, I discovered that there are hobbyist who enjoy searching for survey markers since they are permanent and challenging. I once saw a NGS nomination near an interesting mountain cliff and of course, I approved.


  • rufoushumming-PGOrufoushumming-PGO Posts: 790 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 20

    It is rejected for some simple reasons.

    These are generic, common and mass produced.

    They are no longer used by the Ordnance Survey.

    There is no description as why a great place to explore, exercise or socialise.

    There is little historic/heritage attachment to them and if the nomination does not provide any evidence of heritage status / listing then that will be an issue. Some Bench Marks may well have heritage status. but you must provide the evidence. That would make it a great place to explore. This is important due to generic/common nature of these

    Don't get me wrong. You are right that old marks like this are harder to find because we are blind to them. And the stone is of a rarer type still. To me. Numbers game. How many exist? To put it into perspective. That mark is of a style which is called an Ordnance Survey lower order Bench Mark and there 500,000 of these Bench Marks in the UK. None are in use. AND are NO longer maintained and in the next 200 years we may get down to 20,000 of these. But we not there yet

    There are only around 190 Fundamental Bench Marks that ARE used. Now these would make great POIS.

    FYI there are 7,000 Trig pillars that may make a better nomination.

    I will only accept any positional/height mark if historic/heritage related and or of interest with the evidence provided (no evidence / no go). And with other acceptance criteria met. Safe. Good photo. Well written etc Just because it is eligible does not make it acceptable as there are numerous other criteria

    However if a trail or park etc has no object/POI to hang a nomination off then you could use a bench mark. But again. Well written and meet other criteria.

    Post edited by rufoushumming-PGO on
Sign In or Register to comment.