You’ll doubtless have heard of trig points. Many folks enjoy the interesting and energetic pastime of visiting as many as they can. This is known among enthusiasts as ‘Bagging’.
Now, there aren’t many trig points around my part of middle England. There are a few, but it wouldn’t take long to visit them all and to exhaust the possibilities of trig point based bike rides.
However, trig points aren’t the only things the Ordnance Survey left on the landscape.
In addition to the trig points there are tens of thousands of marks which identify a more local height above sea level datum between the main trig points. These are metal fittings called flush brackets, carved symbols called benchmarks, and small metal studs called bolts. Information about these and a database of their locations can be found here:
A lot of my leisure riding comprises of jaunts around the area to visit these. As I slowly mop up the local ones, the radius of my exploration increases. I do more miles, I get fitter, I explore more, and my love for the British landscape and our industrial heritage deepens.
I recently visited the church at Willen st the Northern end of Milton Keynes. The village has been swallowed by the new down, but is still a pleasant and delightful place. It helps that the surrounding new community is of good character, a nice area, well designed and attractive.
The church is historic, designed as it was by Robert Hooke. Hooke was a contemporary of Christopher Wren, and contributed also to the design of St Paul’s Cathedral. Hooke was also doing research into gravity the best part of a century before Isaac Newton got his teeth into it.
Here’s my bike at Willen church. You can just see the OS carved benchmark below the crossbar, just left of centre, looking similar to the symbol for Pi.
The bike is my beloved 1983 Claud Butler, but more on the bike another time. You can use any bike to OS Bagging, but there’s an informal hierarchy among cycling baggers where the steel framed riders are at the top of the pyramid!
Hope to see you out there soon.