East Yorkshire
Cliff edge / Beach
Distance (N) from Greenwich
OS map detailsOS Explorer: 292
OS grid refTA 31838.31180
WGS84 lat/long53.760301, -0.001616
Marking dateFeb 1999
AccessRestricted by tides. Mark no longer present
Greenwich Meridian Marker; England; East Yorkshire; Tunstall


Currently viewing images from 07 Jun 2007
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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

Additional picture credits
Andrew Stacey (27 Mar 2002), Andy Beecroft (14 Jul 2002), Dave Cotton (20 Oct 2002) & Ian Macaulay (24 & 26 Jan 2004).

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).

Coastal Erosion Rates (1951–97)
The Rooster
The Greenwich Meridian Trail