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Found – one previously missing trig point

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Jason Coulls    16 Jul 2007
Hi all,

I just solved my second map problem in the Faversham area and the mystery of Faversham's missing trig point (triangulation pillar), number 3125.

This one is quite funny in that the information is there, if you look at the facts and make no assumptions that you should be looking elsewhere.

It's a case of "How many people does it take to read a map – not just look at it, but really read what it is saying?" – combined with a naming error between 45 and 71 years old... Rather similar to the 200+ year-old Beacon Hill error...

The background is this: The Ordnance Survey description of pillar 3125 (used during the 1936 to 1962 "Re-triangulation of Great Britain") is "Faversham Resr". Nobody I know has ever seen this pillar – including the water board (whom I asked) who claim to know nothing about its existence either, since they took over the site decades ago.

The basic details of the pillar is found here:
http://www.trigpointinguk.com/trigs/trig-details.php?t=3125

You will notice that people trying to find it over the past few years have noted things like the following comments on the above web page...

1 "This one will require access permission from Southern Water. Since it was Easter Day, the place was locked up. More work neded on this one methinks."

2 "Luckily found someone in compound who let me in for a quick look around. No sign."

3 "Managed to get within about 15 metres of location on GPS. After walking up the side of the waterworks (M2 side) from there you can go around the far end of the compound; the nearest reading was round the far side. It would appear to be on the top of the large concrete reservoir under some dense vegetation. There is a place on the side where you could hop over the wall and climb the stairs to the top, not something I was prepared to do today, maybe in better weather."

Nobody has ever found this mythical pillar of Faversham's history and its location in context with the surrounding countryside...

These people are all working on a set of map data that is fairly widespread regarding the OS locations of over 6,100+ pillars dotted throughout the UK. People look for these things, much like trainspotters or geocachers who want to cross it off the list, and Faversham's trigpoint pillar description leads people to believe that they must break in and trespass onto the reservoir property.

The major problem is nobody has thus far read a map properly, and they only see what they think they should see – and don't notice where the coordinates are really pointing them to...

I just had a look at a standard map (to look at the contour lines in the area) and noticed something here:
http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=601255&y=159543&z=3&dn=598&tl=TP3125+-+Faversham+Resr

I saw a blue triangle with a blue dot in the centre...  It's not on the map legends that I can find, but it is the same shape as the pattern on top of a trigpoint where the OS would attach a theodolite to take a reading, so I wrote to Streetmaps. Their response when I asked if this symbol was a trigpoint?

"Hi Jason
Jason Coulls    06 Mar 2008
Hi Arthur,

I just realised I never answered your question on this:

>>I'm getting thoroughly confused. The first map extract shows the TP at the side of the Waterworks reservoir, where I thought you said it wasn't. The OS location sketchmap I find unintelligible, with the ? reservoir next to the road (which it isn't) and on the wrong side of it. What am I missing?<<

The location sketchmap can be discounted. I included it for the sake of completeness, as that's where there was a related triangulation plate (not a pillar).

If you look here...
http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=601255&y=159543&z=3&dn=598&tl=TP3125+-+Faversham+Resr

...you can clearly see (the arrow points to it) where the real position of the pillar is.  However, the old survey data for pillar 3125 is horribly misleading at best (nobody pursuing the sport of TrigPointing has ever found it), and the designated name for it "Faversham Resr" is totally wrong as it's on a farm and not the waterboard land.

The two other pillars (to make the triangle) should be:
1. Harty Ferry 
http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=601156&y=166113&z=3&dn=598&tl=TP4121+-+Isle+Of+Harty

2. Old Wives Lees
http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=606731&y=155544&z=3&dn=598&tl=TP5227+-+Old+Wives+Lees

I still don't understand why they didn't use the Telegraph Bank to Shottenden route and chose to bounce across White Hill instead – I'm guessing that the trees messed up the lines of sight.

Anyway, another adjacent triangulation triangle should have gone from Faversham "Resr" to Old Wives Lees, then shoot southwest to Kingswood, just north of Boughton Aluph.
Arthur Percival    20 Jul 2007
Jason

I'm getting thoroughly confused. The first map extract shows the TP at the side of the waterworks reservoir, where I thought you said it wasn't.

The OS location sketchmap I find unintelligible, with the ? reservoir next to the road (which it isn't) and on the wrong side of it.

What am I missing?

Best wishes

Arthur
Jason Coulls    20 Jul 2007
Hi Arthur,

Further to my last response, I switched maps to the OS 1:25,000 map.  The reservoir is clearly marked "Resr", so at least that bit is correct.

The trig point is shown on this map in approximately the same place at the compound on the lane north of Porters Lane, but interestingly, the field that is north of that (bordering the banks of the M2) is now labelled "water works".  Looking at an aerial view of the same spot clearly shows crops growing and no sign of anything water related.

Now, in my vocabulary, the term "water works" should apply to something like the facility that treats waste-water up on the creek between the Iron Wharf and Nagden. So, looking at the same map for this facility – I see "works" instead of the expected "water works".  Interestingly, the "sewage pumping works" that feeds it, is correctly labelled – so they got that bit right as well.

So, unless there ever was a water works in that field in the past, this almost looks like another OS mistake (like Beacon Hill) where they've placed the label for the real water works in a field on the opposite side of town, put the wrong "works" label on the real water works and additionally put the incorrect "water works" label near an actual reservoir, by accident, and the trigpoint pillar isn't and never was at "Faversham Resr" as that was mislabelled in addition to everything else and resides on the compound next to the phantom "water works" field.

It's a pretty big mess!

Cheers,

Jase
Jason Coulls    20 Jul 2007
Hi Arthur,

>>When you say the trig point on the reservoir in Porters Lane is on modern maps .. which ones? I can't find it marked on the 'Explorer' 2 1/2" to the mile.   I'm  not doubting your word, just curious to know which OS scale does show it.<<

This is the funny thing: It's NOT on Porters Lane – and never was – so why the OS called it "Faversham Resr" is beyond me. 

If you come out of Porters Lane, and turn North up the Ashford Road, then take the next lane running west (just south of the M2), you come to a farm with several outbuildings. It shows up there.

This link show an arrow that will point right at it (blue triangle with a dot in the middle):
http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=601255&y=159543&z=3&dn=598&tl=TP3125+-+Faversham+Resr

There is also a surface block at Copton (blocks go between some pillars to give extra granularity), which can be found here on the OS site:
http://gps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/stationpics/gif/C2TR0159.gif

Oddly enough, the block is in the OS site, but the pillar isn't. I think the OS honestly lost the thing!

Cheers,

Jase
Arthur Percival    19 Jul 2007
Jason

When you say the trig point on the reservoir in Porters Lane is on modern maps ... which ones? I can't find it marked on the 'Explorer' 2 1/2" to the mile. I'm  not doubting your word, just curious to know which OS scale does show it.

Best wishes

Arthur
Jason Coulls    17 Jul 2007
>>No triangulation station at the waterworks is marked on the 1906 6" OS.<<

That would make sense, as the great Retriangulation of Great Britain didn't start until 1936, but having said that, I've not even started looking for the places where the Principal Triangulation (1783-1853) took place, which Faversham must have been a part of as well.

I'll start looking into that next.

>>This can't be 'Faversham Resr', but maybe someone should ask the OS where their local TS's are?<<

The "Faversham Resr" triangulation pillar (TP3125) is on modern maps – you'll find it on the farm located half a km north of the waterworks reservoir compound. 

I just find it incredibly ironic that those involved in geographic pastimes such as trigpointing haven't found it yet because they all keep trying to get into the compound instead of looking at the map or typing in the correct coordinates into their GPS devices!

Cheers,

Jase
Arthur Percival    17 Jul 2007
Jason

No triangulation station at the waterworks is marked on the 1906 6" OS.

On this map I noticed one behind (just S of) Syndale House at the top of Judd Folly Hill. Of course almost all the house was burnt down in the early 1960s, but maybe the TS is still there.  This can't be 'Faversham Resr', but maybe someone should ask the OS where their local TS's are?

Best wishes

Arthur
Jason Coulls    17 Jul 2007

Just realised that the last part of the previous message is missing...  Here is the response from the map people, plus the rest of the message!

"Hi Jason,  Thank you for your enquiry and you are correct; the symbol does indeed indicate a trigpoint."

Problem solved! All I need to know now is can anyone grab a photo of the plate bolted to the front of it, if it still survives?

Conclusion: The "Faversham Reservoir" trigpoint is not and has never been at Faversham Reservoir as it was placed on a nearby farm, instead. 

All that remains to be seen now is a) whether the pillar survived in its actual location, and b) how many more years are people going to come from all over the UK to try to break into the reservoir to search for something that never was there in the first place because even armed with brains and GPS devices they cannot use common sense or read a map properly?

Cheers,

Jase

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