the Degree Confluence Project

United Kingdom : England

2.3 km (1.4 miles) W of Bower Chalke, Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom
Approx. altitude: 135 m (442 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreeMap ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 51°S 178°E

Accuracy: 20 m (65 ft)
Quality: good

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: North from the spot #3: Looking west #4: Looking east #5: A few paces out #6: X marks the spot - but a little shaky!

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  51°N 2°W (visit #1) (secondary) 

#1: 51N 2W - in beautiful English country side

(visited by Charles Blount)

29-Jul-2001 -- I tried to reach the site once, on the Friday lunchtime. Up the narrow lanes that cut the rolling chalk downland south of Salisbury, any chance of parking and walking in was ruled out by the weight of the harvest traffic. I nipped onto the ridge a few hundred metres behind 51N 2W and photographed (#1) the fantastic view north across the confluence and the Ebble Valley. Getting closer would have to wait.

Two days later, on the Sunday I ventured back. It was hot (over 30°C... OK, hot for us) and sunny. I approached down a public bridleway to find, as I neared, that the confluence sat in the middle of a field of standing wheat.

Mindful of the rules of the game I thought that further efforts would have to wait for a while and then I noticed the pattern in the wheat from where tractors had sowed or sprayed the field. The wheel marks allowed me to walk into the crop without disturbing a single stem.

With the strips running obliquely to the compass it was a challenge to work out which one led closest to the precise mark. Each time I headed into the centre of the field down a path, believing that this one would be the best, only to find that I'd missed by a seemingly random amount.

Until finally, after perhaps thirty minutes of back tracking, my eTrex showed 52-00-00N 02-00-00W for a second before the wobble settled back to 02-00-02W ... I was standing perhaps a few paces from the exact mark but the wheat was going to keep me from getting closer.

With the heat magnified by the crop and all the trudging and my attempt to hold the camera away from me over the precise location ... my hand could have been steadier (see photo #6), but I captured the scene on camera and headed for home, from a very beautiful place.

 All pictures
#1: 51N 2W - in beautiful English country side
#2: North from the spot
#3: Looking west
#4: Looking east
#5: A few paces out
#6: X marks the spot - but a little shaky!
ALL: All pictures on one page