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Overnight vandalism at Coombe Hill

It seems metal has been stolen out of the trig point next to the iconic monument.

Published by Dan Gooding at 11:06am 3rd October 2018. (Updated at 1:59pm 3rd October 2018) 3-minute read.

Overnight vandalism at Coombe Hill

Part of a famous Buckinghamshire landmark has been vandalised.

It seems that overnight the 'trig point' at Coombe Hill was badly damaged.

The picture above (thanks to Martin Page) shows the destruction which happened overnight.

The trig point sits next to the iconic monument, which hasn't been affected.

It's suspected the metal was stolen out of the trig point.

National Trust ranger 'saddened'

Coombe Hill
Coombe Hill monument, which the trig sat next to

National Trust Countryside Manager Neil Harris says:

"I was alerted to the destruction of the trig point at Coombe Hill by a member of the public a couple of days ago. We immediately went up to Coombe Hill to see if we could recover the toposcope (the brass orientation plate on the top of the pillar displaying notable landscape features) Unfortunately, it had been stolen.

"I'm saddened by the theft of the toposcope, which was added by the National Trust in the late 1950s. The trig point has always been a draw for walkers who come to see the view and for nearly 70 years the toposcope has shown them the sights they can see from this vantage point. There's an amazing view over Aylesbury Vale and on a clear day you can see as far as the Cotswolds.

"I also think back to those early pioneer map-makers of the early 20th century who built the trig pillars as bases for their theodolites. They had to carry all the building materials up the hills themselves.

"In tribute to them, and to all the people who enjoy walking up to the Coombe Hill trig point, we'd like to move on from this theft and vandalism."

So now they are looking at how to replace the damaged object.

Neil added:

"The former trig pillar was not as accessible as we would have liked and the Chilterns Countryside ranger team have been thinking about how we can make Coombe Hill trig point even better.

"Should we could create an all-weather path for buggy and wheelchair users, should we create a tactile landscape map for the vision impaired?"

They would like to hear people's thoughts for re-building so that they can begin fundraising.

You can send your ideas by email to chilternscountryside@nationaltrust.org.uk

What is a trig point?

  • They are officially known as a triangulation station.
  • The points are fixed surveying stations, used to survey the Earth's shape, position in space and gravitational field.
  • On the top, a brass plate with three arms and a central depression is fixed.
  • It is used to mount and centre a theodolite used to take angular measurements to neighbouring trig points. 
  • The one at Coombe Hill is managed by Ordnance Survey.
  • They all form a network across the country used for surveys. 
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