The Isabel Christie Park, Whitely Road
Distance (N) from Greenwich
OS map detailsOS Explorer: 174
OS grid refTL 37985.09906
WGS84 lat/long51.770829, -0.001600
Marking datec. 1897
AccessRestricted (park opening hours)
Greenwich Meridian Marker; England; Hertfordshire; Hoddesdon


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24 Apr 2005

The practice of marking the position of the Meridian for its amenity value, rather than as an alignment aid for telescopes probably began at the start of the twentieth century. The oldest known marking is a line of poplars planted in 1903, a couple of miles to the north on the estate of John Henry Buxton at Easneye. Although this obelisk is older, it is not known if its location on the Meridian is mere coincidence. The land for the park was donated in 1897 by Charles Peter Christie, owner of the Christie Brewery in Hoddesdon who erected the obelisk in memory of his late wife, Isabel Constance Christie. It seems reasonable to imagine that Christie would have known Buxton who was also a brewer. Did Christie put the obelisk on the Meridian because he shared the same surname as the then Astronomer Royal, William Christie or perhaps even because he was distantly related to him, and if he did deliberately put it there, is this what gave Buxton the idea of planting the trees?