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Poles Apart on Poles Hill


The original pole is the larger one on the left

First recorded name for Poles Hill was “Pauls Fee” as far back as 1498, then becoming the manor known as Chingford St. Paul's, which belonged to St Paul's Cathedral in London. It finally became known as Pole Hill after a pillar which was erected in 1824, under the direction of the Reverend John Pond, MA, Astronomer Royal. It was placed on the Greenwich Meridian; its purpose was to indicate the direction of true north from the transit telescope of the Royal Observatory.


The explanation of the Meridian change and above plaque to T. E. Lawrence

But, as we so often find in history, things get moved or changed and so not surprisingly the Greenwich Meridian was changed in 1850 and adopted by international agreement in 1884.The obelisk marker was now out of line with the new Meridian line of zero longitude, which now passes 19 feet to the east of this original pillar. It was suggested that the obelisk should simply be shifted 19 feet to the left, but it was a solid block of granite. The quirky British mentality was to build a smaller pillar on the new Meridian line, with the explanation recorded on the old one.

Lawrence of Arabia (T. E. Lawrence Society) once owned a considerable amount of land on the western side of the hill and built himself a small hut there in which he lived for several years. Nothing remains today of this structure on Pole Hill. Lawrence's hut was demolished in 1930.


Google Map of Pole Hill

Google

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