|Cliff edge / Beach|
|Distance (N) from Greenwich|
|OS map details||OS Explorer: 292|
|OS grid ref||TA 31838.31180|
|WGS84 lat/long||53.760301, -0.001616|
|Marking date||Feb 1999|
|Access||Restricted by tides. Mark no longer present|
|20 Oct 2011||17 Jun 2008||07 Jun 2007||29 Mar 2005||26 Jan 2004||24 Jan 2004||29 May 2003||20 Oct 2002||14 Jul 2002||27 Mar 2002|
The Holderness coast is the most rapidly eroding in Britain. Here, at Tunstall, the average rate since monitoring began in 1951 has been well in excess of one metre a year. The Meridian remained unmarked until February 1999 when an Ordnance Survey trig point (FB number, S2469) a couple of kilometres to the north – at OS grid reference TA 29825 33763, which was about to fall into the sea was ‘rescued’ and recycled as a Meridian Mark. Originally sited 3 m from the cliff edge, it fell to the beach during a cliff fall in January 2003 – the top apparently breaking away in the process.
Soil and material from elsewhere were piled up on the cliff edge in an attempt to slow the rate of erosion. In stormy weather, all the sand and pebbles on the beach can be removed by the tide (image sets January 2004 and June 2007). Although there was little erosion between May 2003 and June 2007, there was a considerable amount in the twelve months that followed. In June 2008, the trig point was no longer visible. The umbrella in this image set marks the position of the trig point as previously recorded in March 2005.
Proposals for how the Meridian might be marked for the millennium were always likely to be controversial – and so it proved for Roos Parish Council (the administrative authority for Tunstall). A brief summary of the arguments can be found in the July 1997 and March 2000 editions of The Rooster.
Had it still existed, the trig point would have marked the end of the so-called Greenwich Meridian Trail – a trail long distance trail that was inaugurated in 2009. The people behind the trail are hoping to re-erect some sort of permanent sign or marking at the top of the cliff. In the meantime, a sign appeared briefly in 2010 as a theatrical prop for a publicity shot (at OS grid reference TA 31849 31093).