Marhofn 196.11 - May 2009

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Dungavel Centre

Thomas Murray

Since these sort of matters interest me, I have calculated the most central Marilyns of Britain and of Scotland, by using the mid point latitude between the most northerly and southerly Marilyns plus the mid point longitude between the most easterly and westerly Marilyns. The same method is employed to calculate the centre point of Canada (see atlas.nrcan.gc.ca). Of course one could use grid references, but by this method Watch Croft is further west than Beinn na Seilg. All latitudes and longitudes given below are approximate, mainly using Memory-Map to establish WGS84/ETRS89 co-ordinates.

All Marilyns

N: Saxa Vord60d 49' 38.93169''0d 50' 27.93588''
S: Watch Croft50d 9' 55.01161''5d 36' 47.48990''
W: Cnoc Glas57d 49' 48.18783''8d 38' 15.05247''
E: Cheriton Hill51d 6' 50.96729''1d 8' 19.67815''

Mid point latitude: 55d 29' 46.97''
Mid point longitude: 3d 44' 57.69''

The closest Marilyn to the centre point NS 89582 23901 is Dungavel Hill in section 27A. This is closer to my centre point by about 3.6km than the next closest Marilyn.

Mainland Marilyns

N: Sgribhis-bheinn58d 35' 50.88284''4d 53' 38.39380''
S: Watch Croft50d 9' 55.01161''5d 36' 47.48990''
W: Beinn na Seilg56d 42' 0.30051''6d 9' 12.81812''
E: Cheriton Hill51d 6' 50.96729''1d 8' 19.67815''

Mid point latitude: 54d 22' 52.95''
Mid point longitude: 2d 30' 26.57''

The closest Marilyn to centre point SD 67143 98548 is Yarlside in 35A. This is assuming that the trig pillar of The Calf is its highest point. According to Memory-Map, Yarlside is only about 120 metres closer than The Calf.

Scottish Marilyns

N: Saxa Vord, W: Cnoc Glas, E: Saxa Vord.

S: Cairn Pat54d 51' 49.14652''5d 2' 55.88510''

Mid point latitude: 57d 50' 44.04''
Mid point longitude: 4d 44' 21.49''

The closest Marilyn to the centre point NH 37506 87298 is Carn Ban in section 15A.

Scottish mainland Marilyns

N: Sgribhis-bheinn, W: Beinn na Seilg, S: Cairn Pat.

E: Waughton Hill57d 36' 18.15679''2d 3' 46.95609''

Mid point latitude: 56d 43' 50.01''
Mid point longitude: 4d 6' 29.89"

The closest Marilyn to the centre point NN 71107 61864 of mainland Scotland is Beinn a'Chuallaich in region 5.

With the possible exception of Yarlside, I am confident that the most central Marilyns given here are correct.

Further afield

Beinn Dearg, An Teallach, Carn Ban and St Kilda are all further north than the northernmost point of Denmark. St Kilda is also further west than Northern Ireland. Ben Mor Coigach is as far north as Norway. Beinn a'Chlachain near Applecross is further west than Land's End. Shetland is as far north as Greenland and Finland, and further north than Estonia. Grasmoor and Mickle Fell are at the same latitude as Denmark. The region 33 Marilyns, from Long Crag northwards, are as far north as Sweden. The Cheviot itself is further north than Ireland, including the Inishtrahull archipelago. Suilven is further north than Latvia and at the same latitude as southernmost Norway.

Other centres

You may have heard of OS claims that the 'centre of Great Britain and its 401 associated islands', is in the Forest of Bowland (at SD 64188 56541). They used the centre of gravity method to work this out, and probably a super-computer.

However, I pointed out to them that Out Stack, Shetland, is 148 miles further from their centre point than Pednathise Head, Isles of Scilly. To say I am not impressed is an understatement. Maybe that method suits their view of Britain, as they're based in Southampton. On that subject, all the section 16A Marilyns are closer to the village of Sumba, island of Suduroy, Faroe Islands, than to England. Haltwhistle in Northumberland also claims to be the centre, though their method is, in my opinion, a bit weird. Using the method I employ, I have calculated a centre point of Britain to be close to Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway at NT 0860 0850, and the centre point of the mainland as close to Hawes, North Yorkshire, at SD 8498 9112.

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