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My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Trigs OS 103 - east of Burnley

 Monday 23rd. August 2021

Marsden Height           SD 861 361.  270m

Walton's Monument     SD 894 373.  338m

Extwistle Hill               SD 874 339.  242m

Delf Hill                        SD 899 337.  378m

Many trig points have little to offer other than the likelihood of  visiting some obscure location that you wouldn't have done otherwise. Today all four gave me a bit extra.

For Marsden Height I was able to park exactly opposite the short footpath leading to the trig. It was a narrow, dark passageway needing care with large stones strewn underfoot difficult to see  and threatening an ankle twist. Emerging into a rough field the trig was as nondescript as they come. Looking more closely I saw someone had tried to remove the bronze mounting for the surveyor's theodolite but without success - it was so well embedded. That summed up much of what I have read about the history of the making of our best in the world OS maps and the thoroughness and attention to detail that was employed at a time when the Empire was at its height and we saw ourselves as invincible, but the trig point only appeared from 1936 onwards when a re-triangulation of GB was started, but the traditions had lived on.

For more info on trig history CLICK HERE

A drive on narrow roads took me to a lane end I had researched on Google Earth for parking to visit Walton's Monument. I had not taken into account the steep drop off the road taken by this lane end and its rough bouldery surface and I wasn't risking damaging the car. I eventually parked partly up onto the grass verge  with some vulnerability opposite a gate leading to the trig. I was there and back in twenty minutes.

The bonus monument was erected by an eccentric land owner in 1830 for a purpose that is not all that clear if you click on the link below. In so doing he managed to trash a much more ancient menhir to stand his monument upon - goodness knows what was in this guy's mind. Anyway it provided me with quite a good photo with Pendle Hill topped with cloud looking down at all this from the horizon. Pendle is similar to Ingleborough being visible from so many points - I reckon Bowland Climber and to some extent myself have a plethora of photos including this  worthy hill.

CLICK HERE for link re W's Mon.

The next two trigs involved another drive but then a pleasurable four mile walk linking them together. For Extwistle Hill I had to trespass a little and if you look carefully at the OS map (very carefully - see map below) the trig is not located in the only field I could access within reason - it was just over the wall in the next field.  That demonstrates how precise these OS maps are. I  was able to poke the trig with my walking pole and honour was satisfied. I held the camera high and pointed it down to get as much of the trig in the photo as possible. From where I parked the car this had been a westward there and back walk,  then continuing eastwards to take in Delf Hill.

Part of that walk coincided with the Brontë Way which Bowland Climber and I completed in sections  in 2018. Again this trig was plonked in the middle of some moorland with old quarry workings surrounding and little else to say, but I wasn't there long because the trig was home to a wasps nest and they were buzzing all around my head as I took a hurried photo and plodded off to descend a little to get out of the cool breeze and erect my chair for my elevenses, I spent longer than normal enjoying the luxury of this newly discovered piece of furniture - I am sure now that this is going to be a winner on future day walks.

I descended further through the quarry workings watching some youths on trail bikes performing suicidal ascents and descents that their mothers would not have approved of. I returned by a private water board  grassy track providing impeccable walking, entered and exited by padlocked gates which I had to climb.

Trig points rule!

The rocky path on the way to Marsden Height

Marsden Height

Hammer and chisel defeated. I think the casting has a long tube going down into the concrete - it had of course to be ultra stable for the accuracy of measurements required.

Some interesting moss/lichen accumulated on one side of the pillar

Walton's Monument and distant Pendle Hill

Walton's Mon. trig

On the way to Extwistle Hill - perhaps beyond the point of no return - pity.

Pokeable distance with my walking pole

Looking back on part of the walk coinciding with the Brontë Way

Delf Hill - home to wasps. I didn't stay long

The dot of the trig is on the other side of the wall. My exact route entered the field at the buildings bottom left and then diagonally to the corner of the adjacent field.

Red route is the Brontē Way and/or Blackpool to Sea 


  1. I must admire your diligence in plotting all these trig points and your persistence in reaching them. Is leaning over the wall and 'tapping with your stick' an authorised method?
    I've been to that monument, but I can't think why or when.

  2. An interesting outing and I have to agree with 'bowlandclimber' regarding your 'diligence' and dedication. Impressive Conrad. I love trig pillars and can't imagine why some argue for their removal.

  3. BC - One of the great advantages of plotting your own backpacking route or day walk, or having your own version of bagging summits is that you are free to make up your own rules as you go along, especially with backpacking when diversion from your planned route by some distance can be necessary to find accommodation. Even If I couldn't have touched the trig the ethos of my campaign tells me that if I had explored its locale to the extent of only being within a few feet and in sight of the trig it would count. At east I would know I had made the effort to the best of my ability, and would have confirmed the trig was still there along with any other notable features. I would certainly draw the line at taking a zoom shot with the camera from several hundred yards away even if it meant going back in the dark to avoid detection by a belligerent landowner. What would rankle with me would be encountering somebody who deliberately concealed such facts to make it sound as though they had achieved all. You've got me going now, what about reaching a Himalayan peak or any other hill or mountain summit? In such a case I would say one had to set foot on the highest point.
    Afoot - As I touched on in the post I find trigs are a reminder and example of arduous endeavour and a job done to the highest standards possible at the time.

  4. That area seems to have a very high density of trig points - it is because people in the area were (in 1936) notoriously hard to track down (or needed unusually careful tracking), hence a more than usual precision in mapping was demanded) ?
    Sounds like a racialist slur on those erstwhile denizens.

    Half way down your comment, i was thinking about the first (known) ascent of Kanchenjunga (or whatever it is called these days) when I saw you had already alluded to similar possibilities - only permissible/acceptable if the Gods wish , it seems - we cannot be sure they complied, but as they weren't struck down, one must assume they did as promised and reported - I bet others less scrupulous have trodden on the very top. A study of those who have 'summitted' and met strange and untimely ends might make salutary reading.

  5. error in typing : i meant 'is it', not 'it is'

  6. gimmer - yes the thing about the gods went through my mind also - the research you suggest might make a good subject for somebody's phd.

  7. Well done Conrad. You will soon have the trigs completed on this map. I have viewed that monument on many occasions but never been up there. Sheila's idea of bagging a trig is to stand up on top of it. Trouble for me is getting down even if I could get up.

  8. I expected a sturdy defence of your trig touching, I would have done the same if the Trig God wasn't watching.

  9. Alan R - I don't know about "soon" for completing, there are still plenty to go, but they are generally easy ones, however it is a fairly long drive there and back doing them on a day basis.
    BC - "Sturdy", a good old word.

    I wonder which saint landed the job as patron saint of trigs? My guess is St. Bartholomew because his name has that connotation with mapping. By coincidence he is celebrated in the Church of England on the 24th August, the day after my visit. St. B came to the most gruesome end I can remember hearing of- too grizzly to detail here but look down the page on Wiki where it is all spelled out.

  10. BC - look out for his image on one of your stained glass windows - I would be interested to learn what you may find - he may well be holding a knife?

  11. Haven't come across a St Bartholomew as yet.