A great way to explore the outdoors – Finding trig pillars

So, this isn’t exactly running related, but it can be incorporated in to your running and walking – it is a lot of fun. I have spoken to a few people about it on Instagram, and I thought it was about time I wrote a little on the subject. I am not an expert on them, but I know how to find them, and I enjoy it.

I first found trig pillars a few year when I used to go Geocaching. I haven’t found Geocaches in a long time, but the habit of finding trigs is still there.

So what is a trig?

A trig is a Triangulation Station. They were placed by Ordnance Survey starting in in 1936 – “On 18 April 1936 a group of surveyors gathered around a white concrete pillar in a field in Cold Ashby and began the retriangulation of Great Britain.” – Ordanance Survey Blog

When you stand at a trig pillar, you used to be able to see two others – which would mean surveyors could take measurements of the angles between them and make more accurate maps.

Different types of trig

I like to find pillars. There’s also lots of other types like rivets and surface blocks – Trigpointing UK is a great resource to learn all about the different types.

OK, how do I find one?

There’s a few options.

OS Maps (papers and app) show trig points as blue triangles, I find it very satisfying to find one by scouring a map!

Trigpointing UK has a database of trigs that is searchable and includes all types. Well worth a bookmark! Trigbagging also have a map, too.

And of course, sometimes the best ones are unexpected when you come accross them by accident!

Then What?

You can log them on Trigpointing UK if you wish and then go and find another. They often lead to lovely places! But not always..!

I like to take pictures of the flush brackets – on the bracket is OSBM – “Ordnance Survey Bench Mark” and has a reference number underneath of the trig point.

Do you have any tips or thoughts to share on finding trigs? Let me know!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Adrian says:

    I love that post. It always made me happy to find a trig point, especially in places like the lake district. In users to photograph the plates too!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nikki says:

    Ooh we saw loads of these along Hadrian’s Wall and I wondered what they were! Thank you for solving that mystery so quickly!

    Liked by 1 person

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