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Monument at North Western End of General Roys Survey Base, Hillingdon

Description: Monument at North Western End of General Roys Survey Base

Grade: II
Date Listed: 15 December 1997
English Heritage Building ID: 469215

OS Grid Reference: TQ0769376719
OS Grid Coordinates: 507693, 176719
Latitude/Longitude: 51.4792, -0.4506

Location: Northern Perimeter Road, Hillingdon, Greater London TW6 2EQ

Locality: Hillingdon
County: Greater London
Country: England
Postcode: TW6 2EQ

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Listing Text


Heathrow Airport

804/47/10049 Monument at north-western end of General Roy's survey base


Cast-iron cannon monument, installed 1791 to mark the north-western end of the baseline measured by General Roy in 1784 across Hounslow Heath, from King's Arbour to Hampton Poor House, which is now taken to be the origin of the Ordnance Survey. Roy originally marked his line by wooden posts, but in 1791 two guns were selected at Greenwich 'from amongst those which had been condemned as unfit for the public service'. The cannon is some nine feet long, the lower six feet of which are buried in the ground. Next to the cannon is a plaque which reads as follows:
'This tablet was affixed in 1926 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Major General William Roy FRS, born 4th May 1726 - died 1st July 1790. He conceived the idea of carrying out the triangulation of this country and of constructing a complete and accurate map and thereby laid the foundation of the Ordnance Survey. This gun marks the NW terminal of the base which was measured in 1784, under the supervision of General Roy, as part of the operations for determining the relative positions of the Greenwich and Paris Observatories. This measurement was rendered possible by the munificence of HM King George III, who inspected the work on 21st August 1784. The base was measured again in 1791, by Captain Mudge, as the commencement of the principal triangulation of Great Britain. Length of base - reduced to MGL - as measured by Roy - 27404.01 feet, as measured by Mudge - 27404.24 feet, as determined by Clarke in 1858 in terms of the Ordnance Survey Standard 01 - 27406.19 feet.'
Source: Captain William Mudge and Isaac Dalby, An Account of the Operations Carried on for Accomplishing a Trigonometric Survey of England and Wales, vol. 1, 1799, p.223.

The monument at the south-east end of General Roy's baseline is listed under Roy Grove, Hampton, in the London Borough of Richmond.

Listing NGR: TQ0769376719

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.