(this is a stripped down version of a previously larger website - please consider it as work in progress)

FAYERS - What's it all about?

This web site is dedicated to the glory of hunting down the paraphernalia littered about town and country that was used for map making, global positioning and sea level change monitoring.  This is a specialist hobby, not for the faint hearted, which involves scaling walls, trespass, gloom, disappointment and - the greatest scourge of all - pebble dash.

The Ordnance Survey used various pillars and brackets in the production of maps.  This equipment was built to last, and despite some of it being made redundant by satellite technology, much of it still remains in situ.  There's a wealth of detail that we could give, but you'd perhaps be rather dulled.  To whet your appetite, here is a whistle stop tour.

The Ordnance Survey used levelling techniques to survey the entire United Kingdom at various times during the 19th and 20th centuries.  This left a cornucopia of equipment dotted around the landscape.  Height above sea level is recorded with amazing accuracy at granite pillars with underground chambers called Fundamental Bench Marks (right), there are 198 of these across the UK.  They sit on bedrock, and are immune to slip and movement that would render a bench mark inscribed on a wall potentially inaccurate.  Funds are also associated with tidal monitoring stations, the most well known example being at Newlyn in Cornwall where "sea level" is defined.

Running between Funds are Main Lines, along which accurate levelling was undertaken.  At intervals of one mile on main lines, surveyors affixed Flush Brackets (left) to convenient walls, structures and parapets - often cementing over former bench marks.  FBs were also affixed every three miles on secondary lines of survey, and if you're dead lucky you'll find entirely random tertiary FBs scattered around the country (there one near me in Guisborough, North Yorkshire).  FBs all have unique serial numbers, and so are eminently "collectable".

Funds, Main Lines and FBs are all used to establish vertical height above sea level.  Map makers also need to know their location on the horizontal plane.  This was done by using Triangulation Pillars (right), concrete structures located in prominent locations across the country.  The theory was that if map makers knew the exact location (grid reference) of three visible TPs and they measured their distance to each visible TP, they could calculate through trigonometric rules their exact current location.  It's all done by satellites and global positioning systems now, but many of the sturdy concrete pillars still remain on hill tops across the country.  TPs are a particularly rewarding aspect of this hobby if you are an outdoor type, because they are, by definition, located in high places that afford cracking views of surrounding landscapes.  Entertainingly, TPs also feature a FB set into the concrete, thus adding to your list of FB serial numbers.

TPs are marked on OS Landranger (1:50,000) maps and so are relatively easy to track down.  FBMs are marked on detailed 1:1,250 scale maps, but are so few and far between that you need help to track them down with any kind of regularity.  FBs are not even distinguished on 1:1,250 maps, they are merely indicated as bench marks and could just as easily be a regular arrowed inscription of the kind that proliferates on every street corner in the UK.  FB hunting therefore requires experience and guile, and rewards logical thought, careful map reading and an element of luck.  Many FBs have been lost, either to demolition (often in the pursuit of wider and supposedly safer roads) or to alteration.  The worst crime of all is to pebble dash over a FB.  Experienced FB hunters talk of "good brick", denoting buildings of a certain age with original structural features that could well retain any FB affixed over the years.

FUNDAMENTAL BENCH MARKS

These are the basic building blocks of the mapping of the United Kingdom up until the 1980s.  They are still in use and maintained carefully by the Ordnance Survey.  A fundamental bench mark is a mark which records height above Newlyn Datum to extreme accuracy.  Funds are constructed directly on stable bedrock, and are therefore found at spots where bedrock lies near the surface.  An underground chamber contains the guts of the fund, but the only bit you will see is the smart granite pillar, the Ordnance Survey Bench Mark plaque, the mark itself on top of the pillar and sometimes a set of green painted railings.  Funds have now been fitted with July 1999 plaques by the OS which describe their function and importance.

There are 198 Funds in England, Wales and Scotland.  They are listed below in alphabetical order.

 

Aberdeen North NJ 9417 0964 Bagged : Kelso NT 7509 3179 Bagged :
Aberdeen South NJ 9672 0568 Bagged : Kinghorn NT 2725 8842 Bagged :
Abergavenny SO 3223 1414 Bagged : Kingsbridge SX 7443 4319 Bagged :
Aberystwyth SN 6064 7735 Bagged : Kirkby Stephen NY 7504 0575 Bagged :
Achnasheen NH 1587 5844 Bagged :
Alfriston TQ 5073 0093 Bagged : Lairg NC 5723 0764 Bagged :
Arbirlot NO 5877 4002 Bagged : Lampeter SN 5798 5263 Bagged :
Arrochar NN 3060 0426 Bagged : Lancaster SD 4879 6118 Bagged :
Arundel TQ 0038 0980 Bagged : Laurencekirk NO 7254 7231 Bagged :
Ayr NS 2751 1753 Bagged : Ledmore NC 2453 1347 Bagged :
Linlithgow NS 9661 7492 Bagged :
Banchory NO 6020 9799 Bagged : Liskeard SX 2225 6355 Bagged :
Basingstoke SU 6438 5180 Bagged :  20.06.01 Liverpool SJ 3615 9343 Bagged :
Beer SY 2147 8942 Bagged : Llandovery SN 7751 3270 Bagged :
Belford (R) NU 0960 3574 Bagged :  06.07.02 Lochgilphead NR 8721 8512 Bagged :
Bettyhill NC 7096 5744 Bagged : Loch Leven NN 0588 6020 Bagged :
Bishopston SS 5743 8932 Bagged : Loch Naver NC 6779 3919 Bagged :
Boscastle SX 1445 9305 Bagged : Loch Tarff NH 4221 0948 Bagged :
Bowling NS 4491 7376 Bagged : Longhorsley NZ 1455 9456 Bagged :
Braemar NO 1702 9176 Bagged : Lybster ND 2542 3645 Bagged :
Brampton Abbotts (R) SO 6037 2666 Bagged :
Brecon SO 0513 2905 Bagged : Macclesfield SJ 9473 7440 Bagged :  29.01.00
Bridford SX 8119 8650 Bagged : Machynlleth (R) SH 7553 0052 Bagged :
Bridge of Orchy NN 2951 3977 Bagged : Madron SW 4496 3211 Bagged :
Bromsgrove (R) SO 9867 6948 Bagged :  xx.xx.01 Matlock (R) SK 3082 5889 Bagged :  29.01.00
Broomhead Moor (R) SK 2453 9465 Bagged : Melbourne SK 3643 2419 Bagged :
Buchan Ness (R) NK 1283 4175 Bagged : Mickleby NZ 8011 1305 Bagged :  22.01.00
Buckland (R) SU 3354 9748 Bagged : Milngavie NS 5584 7692 Bagged :
Buittle NX 8103 6020 Bagged : Moffat NT 0639 0866 Bagged :
Bulmer SE 7044 6789 Bagged :  21.05.00 Mordington NT 9519 5853 Bagged :
Buntingford TL 3714 2774 Bagged :
Navenby TF 0160 5928 Bagged :  15.01.00
Caernarvon SH 4800 5457 Bagged : Necropolis NS 6064 6551 Bagged :  22.05.02
Calbourne SZ 4255 8657 Bagged : Newcastleton NY 4654 8794 Bagged :
Campden SP 1370 3633 Bagged : New Cumnock NS 6674 1539 Bagged :
Cardigan SN 2089 4602 Bagged : Newtown SO 1088 9367 Bagged :
Carmarthen SN 4340 2377 Bagged : Northallerton SE 4277 9362 Bagged :  26.04.00
Castor TL 1301 9975 Bagged : North Petherton (R) ST 2849 3328 Bagged :
Cat and Fiddle SK 0010 7191 Bagged :  29.01.00 North Pickenham (R) TF 8727 0610 Bagged :
Church Stretton SO 4671 9274 Bagged : North Rode SJ 8999 6680 Bagged :  29.01.00
Clare TL 7455 4461 Bagged : Nuneaton (R) SP 3400 9318 Bagged :
Connel NM 8884 3392 Bagged :
Contin NH 4639 5576 Bagged : Oswestry SJ 2739 2422 Bagged :
Conwy SH 7552 7747 Bagged :
Corwar NX 2820 8109 Bagged : Partick NS 5388 6728 Bagged :
Countisbury SS 7526 4960 Bagged : Patrington TA 3155 2249 Bagged :
Cowbridge SS 9668 7567 Bagged : Paul SW 4561 2710 Bagged :
Cranford SP 9184 7878 Bagged : Penhow ST 4261 9109 Bagged :
Creetown NX 4955 5982 Bagged : Penrith (R) NY 4773 2832 Bagged :
Crianlarich NN 4130 2576 Bagged : Perth NO 1538 2287 Bagged :
Croydon (R) TQ 3239 6062 Bagged : Portsoy NJ 5745 6525 Bagged :
Prees (R) SJ 5724 3356 Bagged :  28.04.00
Dalry NX 6251 8017 Bagged :
Dalwhinnie NN 6736 9031 Bagged : Reay NC 9002 6351 Bagged :
Daresbury SJ 5773 8236 Bagged :  13.03.00 Rhynie NJ 4938 2564 Bagged :
Daventry SP 5804 6290 Bagged : Ribblesdale SD 7828 7382 Bagged :
Daviot NH 7247 4119 Bagged : Rosehearty NJ 9221 6653 Bagged :
Dorchester (R) SY 6968 9052 Bagged : Rosyth NT 1109 8233 Bagged :
Dornie NG 8848 2584 Bagged :
Dulverton SS 9046 2512 Bagged : St Andrews NO 5344 1489 Bagged :
Dunbar East NT 6886 7848 Bagged :  23.02.00 Sancreed SW 4195 2947 Bagged :
Dunbar West NT 6691 7894 Bagged :  23.02.00 Sapperton (R) SO 9504 0287 Bagged :
Duncansby Head ND 3717 7149 Bagged : Scorguie NH 6457 4633 Bagged :
Dunlop NS 4161 4962 Bagged : Sharpness (R) SO 6771 0255 Bagged :
Duns Common (R) NT 7659 5522 Bagged : Skipton (R) SD 9960 5252 Bagged :
Durness NC 4385 6570 Bagged : Snodland TQ 6852 6280 Bagged :
Dyserth (R) SJ 0647 8024 Bagged : Southampton SU 4207 1280 Bagged :  20.06.01
Southampton Maybush SU 3864 1488 Bagged :
East Harling (R) TL 9963 8429 Bagged : South Cave SE 9090 3196 Bagged :  06.04.02
Ecclefechan NY 1942 7673 Bagged : Spean Bridge NN 2107 8216 Bagged :
Edinburgh NT 2807 7395 Bagged :  23.02.00 Stafford SJ 9455 2873 Bagged :
Elgin NJ 1723 6328 Bagged : Stirling NS 8418 9690 Bagged :
Elvanfoot NS 9596 1930 Bagged : Stranraer NX 0581 5556 Bagged :
Suckley (R) SO 7210 5451 Bagged :  10.05.00
Fareham (R) SU 6106 0716 Bagged :
Flamborough TA 2257 7053 Bagged : Tain NH 7440 8414 Bagged :
Flax Bourton (R) ST 5195 7112 Bagged :  15.02.02 Thankerton NS 9716 3738 Bagged :
Forcett NZ 1757 1235 Bagged :  09.07.00 Thornford ST 5953 1270 Bagged :
Freshwater SZ 3374 8574 Bagged : Thornham (R) TF 7316 4270 Bagged :
Tobermory NM 5065 5582 Bagged :
Gimmingham TG 2707 3669 Bagged : Tolcarne SW 4614 2918 Bagged :
Glen Almond NN 8903 3135 Bagged : Torrington (R) SS 4855 1938 Bagged :
Glen Cluaine NH 0585 1147 Bagged : Trawsfynydd SH 7066 3642 Bagged :
Glen Moriston NH 4191 1659 Bagged : Troon SW 6630 3708 Bagged :
Glenshee NO 1403 6062 Bagged : Tummel Bridge NN 7635 5915 Bagged :
Gourock NS 2396 7747 Bagged :
Grampound SW 9165 4924 Bagged : Ullapool NH 1204 9536 Bagged :
Great Bedwyn SU 2782 6453 Bagged : Ulverston SD 2888 7995 Bagged :
Great Linford (R) SP 8501 4234 Bagged : Upton Lovell (R) ST 9570 4242 Bagged :
Greetland (R) SE 0667 2116 Bagged :  01.10.00
Guestling TQ 8380 1638 Bagged : Wallingford (R) SU 6248 8819 Bagged :
Waltham-on-the-Wolds (R) SK 8111 2539 Bagged :
Hatfield Peverel TL 7906 1184 Bagged : Warwick SP 2845 6488 Bagged :
Hatton Heath (R) SJ 4469 6051 Bagged :  17.11.01 Wasdale NY 1216 0426 Bagged :
Haverfordwest SM 9673 1574 Bagged : Wester Broomhouse NT 6651 7613 Bagged :
Hawick NT 4893 1247 Bagged : Wetheral NY 4602 5352 Bagged :
Helmsdale ND 0362 1570 Bagged : Wetherby SE 3405 4717 Bagged :  11.07.00
Hemel Hempstead (R) TL 0660 0945 Bagged : Whittingehame NT 5745 7277 Bagged :  15.05.00
Hexham NY 9597 6710 Bagged : Whitton Green North TM 5189 9130 Bagged :
Hibaldstow SE 9394 0125 Bagged : Whitton Green South TM 5187 9124 Bagged :
High Boydston NS 2285 4538 Bagged : Wicken (R) TL 5420 7220 Bagged :
Hoghton SD 6110 2567 Bagged : Wimborne (R) ST 9881 0252 Bagged :
Holyhead (R) SH 2411 8282 Bagged : Winchester (R) SU 5041 2942 Bagged :
Windsor Castle SU 9730 7697 Bagged :
Immingham TA 1748 1509 Bagged : Wolsingham NZ 0906 3814 Bagged :  22.09.00
Innerleithen NT 3392 4313 Bagged : Wrexham SJ 2564 5285 Bagged :
Ipswich TM 1107 4864 Bagged : Wye (R) TR 0677 4653 Bagged :
Isle of Thanet (R) TR 3616 6770 Bagged :
Yelverton SX 5164 6646 Bagged :