J3021 : Bench Mark, Silent Valley

taken 3 years ago, 4 km from Brackenagh, Northern Ireland

Bench Mark, Silent Valley
Bench Mark, Silent Valley
Cut bench mark on the front of the Valve House, Silent Valley J3021 : The front of the valve house at Silent Valley Reservoir.
The mark has been levelled to 152.77m above MSL and is in a line that extends all the way to the top of the Ben Crom reservoir.
Belfast & District Water Commissioners gates and buildings
Images relating to Belfast & District Water Commissioners buildings and gates found throughout County Down between the Mourne Mountains and Belfast. They are found in and around the Silent Valley and in numerous places above the underground Mourne Conduit which carries water to Belfast. The buildings are mainly pumping stations, wells or houses (mostly now vacant) for staff. The red gates were erected, mainly through farmland, so that BWC staff (linesmen) could walk the length of the Mourne Conduit and visually check for problems at the surface. The posts have BWC cast into the metal at the top (Belfast Water Commissioners - see J3452 : BWC gate near Ballynahinch for a close-up) and there are a few to be found where the letters are back to front! The gates are also found in several places on the Mourne Wall - see J2923 : Stile and gate on the Mourne Wall and J3228 : The Mourne Wall at the Hare's Gap for examples.

See also the associated shared description for The Mourne Wall at LinkExternal link .
Bench Mark
Bench marks were historically used to record the height above sea level of a location as surveyed against the Mean Sea Level data (taken at Clarendon Dock, Belfast, for Northern Ireland data, Newlyn in Cornwall for data in Great Britain and Portmoor Pier, Malin Head, for data relating to the Republic of Ireland). They were used as part of a greater surveying network by the UK Ordnance Survey, Ordnance Survey Northern Ireland (OSNI) and the Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSI). 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. In this way hundreds of thousands of bench marks were sited all around the UK & Ireland from the mid 19th to late 20th centuries. There are several distinct types of bench mark:

- Fundamental bench marks have been constructed at selected sites where foundations can be set on stable strata such as bedrock. Each FBM consists of a buried chamber with a brass bolt set in the top of a granite pillar. See NG8825 : Dornie fundamental bench mark for an example. FBMs were used in Ireland as well as GB but those in Ireland do not have any surface markers, nor are they marked on standard maps.
- Flush brackets consist of metal plates about 90 mm wide and 175 mm long. Each bracket has a unique serial number. They are most commonly found on most Triangulation Pillars, some churches or on other important civic buildings. See J3270 : Flush Bracket, Belfast for an example.
- Cut bench marks are the commonest form of mark. They consist of a horizontal bar cut into a wall or brickwork and are found just about anywhere. A broad arrow is cut immediately below the centre of the horizontal bar. See J3372 : Bench Mark, Belfast for an example. The horizontal mark may be replaced by or contain a bolt - see J1486 : Bench Mark, Antrim.
Other marks include:
- Projecting bench marks such as SD8072 : Projecting Bracket Benchmark on St Oswald's Tower
- Bolt bench marks such as SJ1888 : OSBM bolt on Hilbre Island
- Rivet bench marks such as J3978 : Bench Mark, Holywood
- Pivot bench marks such as SJ2661 : Pivot bench mark on Leeswood Bridge

Bench marks are commonly found on older buildings or other semi-permanent features such as stone bridges or walls. Due to updated mapping techniques and technological advances such as GPS, bench marks are no longer maintained. Many are still in existence and the markers will probably remain until they are eventually destroyed by redevelopment or erosion.
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Rossographer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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J3021, 113 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Tuesday, 29 December, 2015   (more nearby)
Submitted
Wednesday, 13 January, 2016
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Uplands  Water resources 
Place (from Tags)
Mourne Mountains 
Subject Location
Irish: geotagged! J 308 218 [100m precision]
WGS84: 54:7.7403N 5:59.9455W
Camera Location
Irish: geotagged! J 308 218
View Direction
WEST (about 270 degrees)
Clickable map
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Image classification(about): Supplemental image
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