By: Blonde One
Copyright Ordnance Survey 2017
The walk up to the St Martin’s trig and day mark was a first for Mr Blonde One and I. We have often visited the tiny island but for some reason have never ventured out to the northeast point. I’m so glad that we’ve done it and it definitely won’t be the last time either. The island has approximately 100 inhabitants and measures just under one square mile so it’s surprising that I haven’t walked every inch of it by now.
The trig is dominated by the 11 metre high day mark next to it that can be seen from as far away as the mainland on a clear day. It’s red and white stripes are a familiar feature for most visitors as they use it to get their bearings. Apparently when it was first built on 1683 (not 1637 as it erroneously says on the door) it was painted white. In 1833 it changed to red, and I suppose the two colours had a meeting and compromised on the red and white stripes that you see today. I was fascinated to discover that it is listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Despite its impressive neighbour the islands only trig pillar is still grand in its own right; its the only trig I’ve seen that has been decorated (with a lovely piece of green rope)! And very fetching it looks too. Is this the only decorated trig to be on a tiny island, next to a day mark and the ruins of a chapel, I wonder?