Job: Tidal Observatory, South Pier, Newlyn Harbour, Newlyn, Cornwall

12 Dec 2018
Tidal Observatory, South Pier, Penzance, Newlyn Harbour, Cornwall
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For 'Listing Review 2019'. Photographer's note: 'The fishing industry in Newlyn on the south coast of Cornwall expanded in the 1880s, resulting in the construction of a new harbour and two piers. In the early 20th century, the south pier was extended to give better protection to the harbour and a tidal observatory was built at its north end. The observatory was one of three constructed at the request of Ordnance Survey to establish Mean Sea Level. With the observatory being completed in 1914, hourly measurements were taken of the height of the tide between 1915 and 1921, determining that Newlyn was the most stable and therefore the principal place to establish Mean Sea Level for the entire country. Over the next 100 years, the observatory contributed key tidal data to studies in oceanography, geology and climate change. Today, all heights on Ordnance Survey maps are referenced to a brass bolt within the observatory, 4.75m above Mean Sea Level - also known as Ordnance Datum Newlyn. The Ordnance Survey gave up responsibility for the tidal observatory in 1983, but it continues to be used for scientific tidal measurements, particularly for guiding climate change and coastal management studies.'


This is part of the Volume: VF000197 Historic Building Survey and Listing; within the Series: HEC01/026 Historic Building Survey and Listing; within the Collection: HEC01 Historic England

This Job is divided into 12 Child Records
This Job contains the following materials:
Photograph (Digital): 12


© Historic England Archive

People & Organisations

Photographer: Davies, James O: Historic England


Observatory, Coastal