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Post details Post   (Expand pics)
pdtempan
2008-06-04 15:51:33
Bench marks
Hello John. This looks like a bench mark, though I would expect the arrow to point to a horizontal line (the "bench") and to be marked on a vertical surface. Apparently there are horizontal bench marks too, but whether your object is one of these, I am not sure. If it is a bench mark, it should be indicated on more OS detailed maps such as the 1:10,000 and 6" to the mile series (you should be able to access these at your local library). I haven't found much on the OSI site about bench marks as they are now largely part of mapping history rather than current surveying technology, but the OS site for Britain has some useful info on them and I'm sure much of it applies to the Irish network too. Basically it explains that Ordnance Survey Bench marks (BMs) are survey marks made by the OS to record height above sea-level. If the exact height of one bench mark is known then the exact height of the next can be found by measuring the difference in heights, through a process of spirit levelling. Bench marks are usually found on buildings or other semi-permanent features. Although the OS is no longer updating the main network, their policy is still to keep a record of locations and the markers will remain until they are eventually destroyed by redevelopment or erosion. There is more information available here: http://benchmarks.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/pls/htmldb/f?p=111:3:16146039039280374334::NO:3:: There is also a whole world of bench mark visiting and recording, about which you can find out more here: http://www.bench-marks.org.uk/ if the urge takes you! (I hesitate to make any comparisons with trainspotting, as I'm sure my own fascination for mountain names is distinctly underwhelming to some.) As regards the significance of the symbol, I don't think the "arrows" have a directional significance. They usually point up on buildings or triangulation pillars, and the arrow points to the middle of the horizontal bar, as the recorded height refers to this bar. I presume that the symbol originally represented a tripod, on which one would set a theodolite to carry out surveying measurements, but maybe somebody with more knowledge of cartography than me could confirm or correct this.
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