Friday, 2 March 2018

Mapping Mountains – Summit Relocations – Tumps

Elbury Hill (SO 869 558) – recommended summit relocation from Leopard Hill (SO 872 555)

There has been a recommendation of a Summit Relocation to a hill listed in the Tumps which was initiated by a survey with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 and which took place on the 29th January 2018 in good dry conditions, with no breeze and clear visibility.

The criterion for the list that this recommendation affects is:

Tumps – All British hills with 30m or more of drop.

The list was duplicated, compiled and collated by Mark Jackson and first published in 2009, with the word Tump being an acronym meaning Thirty & Upward Metre Prominences.

The name of the hill is Elbury Hill and it is placed in Central and Eastern England Region 39, with its Parent Hill being Walton Hill (SO 942 798).  The hill is positioned overlooking the city of Worcester and has the B 4637 road to its south-east which is named Tolladine Road in its upper section.

As the summit of the hill is not a part of designated open access land permission to visit should be sought, however the summit area of this hill and that of Leopard Hill are used for recreation purposes, with Elbury Hill having a number of benches positioned around the periphery of its summit for people to sit and admire the view.

The qualifying Tump is currently Leopard Hill (SO 872 555) which is given a 98m summit spot height on contemporary Ordnance Survey maps.  To the north-west of Leopard Hill are further areas of land that have in the main escaped urban development, these are Elbury Hill and Gorse Hill.  Elbury Hill is given a 98m summit spot height on the Ordnance Survey Interactive Coverage Map hosted on the Geograph website, whilst Gorse Hill is given a 92m summit spot height on this same map.

The summit area of Leopard Hill is crowned by a metal fenced water tower, whilst the summit area of Elbury Hill has two large metal fenced compounds housing covered reservoirs, with land between being open.

The summit of Leopard Hill

The summit of Elbury Hill

The summit of Elbury Hill is shown with a triangular symbol on the Ordnance Survey Six-Inch map published in 1886, which is given the height of 323ft (98.5m) on the Six-Inch map published in 1905.  The latter map has a covered reservoir marked to the north of the triangular symbol, whilst the map from 1886 just has the symbol; this implies that the 323ft (98.5m) height was taken to natural ground before the covered reservoir was constructed.  The TrigpointingUK website details a block that replaced a pillar in 1970 and which is adjacent to a mast that stands in one of two covered reservoir compounds, this mast is also recorded in the OS Trig Database at SO 86872 55812, unfortunately a height is not recorded for it.  The 323ft (98.5m) height would have been to the old pillar which is given the position of SO 86915 55816 in TrigpointingUK.

Extract from the Ordnance Survey Six-Map map published in 1886

Extract from the Ordnance Survey Six-Inch map published in 1905

The survey with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 produced the following results:

Leopard Hill:  97.197m (converted to OSGM15) summit at SO 87270 55534

Elbury Hill:  97.435m (converted to OSGM15) summit at SO 86900 55854

Although the recommendation is to swap the position of the col and therefore the drop value and status as Tump of these two hills, the height difference produced by surveying with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 is not great.  However, the resulting data is the best available at hand, with the caveat that higher ground may exist close to where the Trimble was placed on Leopard Hill and that higher ground may exist in the southern compound close to, or at the position of the high mast on top of Elbury Hill.  The added complication are the covered reservoirs on Elbury Hill and whether the open ground between the two compounds can be thought of as being natural.

The full details for the hill are:

Parent Hill:  Walton Hill

Summit Height:  97.4m (converted to OSGM15)

Name:  Elbury Hill

OS 1:50,000 map:  150

Summit Grid Reference (recommended New Position):  SO 86900 55854 
Drop:  c 53m

Myrddyn Phillips (March 2018)

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