Great Britain

Great Britain

As with all PIAs, it is easy to get pulled into a debate about how to calculate the location, rather than over the location itself.  Remember the British Pole of Inaccessibility marks the geographical point which is furthest from the coastline.  It is not, necessarily, the centre of the country.

The British PIA has been calculated by The Ordnance Survey, Britain’s National Mapping Agency, and reported by the BBC, to be at:

  • Latitude: 52° 43.6’ N
  • Longitude: 1° 37.2’ W
  • Distance from sea: 113km

It is a point near Church Flatts Farm about 1km south east of Cotton-in-the-Elms, Derbyshire. This British Pole of Inaccessibility is 113km from the nearest point on the coast at the mean low-water line (that being Fosdyke Wash, Lincolnshire). The Ordnance Survey grid reference is SK 257144

The original Garcia-Castellanos and Lombardo algorithm put the British PIA at Latitude: 52° 39.0’N and Longitude: 1° 33.4’W approximately 11km from the Ordnance Survey result.

Centre of Gravity of Great Britain

Again, this has been calculated by the Ordnance Survey and they prefer to factor in the 400+ Islands associated with Great Britain and they calculate (using the Centre of Gravity method) the centre of Great Britain to be at grid reference SD 64188.3 56541.43 or 54°0’13.176″N 2°32’52.278″W.  This location is on Brennand Farm, 7km north west of Dunsop Bridge in the Forest of Bowland, Lancashire.

When the OS only looked at mainland Great Britain, and using the same method, they calculated the centre to be at 4km North West of Calderstones Hospital, near Clitheroe, Lancashire at grid reference SD7232136671. 

Apparently, the same calculation was first made by Brigadier Winterbottom in the Geographical Journal of 1941

Using the Longitude Method, you would favour a point near Haltwhistle in Northumberland near Hadrian’s Wall

Centre of England

In keeping with their calculation for the centre of Great Britain, the OS used England’s Islands to calculate the centre to be at SP 36373.66, 96143.05 (52°33′42.942″N 1°27′53.474″W) on Lindley Farm between Atherstone and Hinckley in Leicestershire

Centre of Wales

This lies about 2.5km from Cwmystwyth at grid reference SN 79728.22, 71704.43 (52°19′48.791″N 3°45′59.072″W).

Centre of Scotland

Lies between Blair Atholl and Dalwhinnie at grid reference NN 66784.93, 71599.4 (56°49′0.257″N 4°11′2.267″W).

Getting to the British Pole

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