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Townsville Astronomical Trigonometrical Station


Place Details
Place ID 600926
Registration Type State Heritage
Place Name Townsville Astronomical Trigonometrical Station
Alternative Name Townsville Observatory
Place Classification Built
Place Category Exploration/Survey/Early settlement
Place Type Trigonometrical Reserve/Station
Themes 2 Exploiting, utilising and transforming the land / 2.1 Exploring, surveying and mapping the land
Register Entry Date 21/10/1992

Location
Address Stanton Hill
Town / Suburb TOWNSVILLE
Post Code 4810
LGA TOWNSVILLE CITY COUNCIL

Cultural Heritage Significance
Principal Period
of Significance
1891 (fabric)
Criterion A The Townsville Astronomical Trigonometrical Station, erected in 1891, is significant for its historical role in land surveying in Queensland, and typologically, as one of only two concrete astronomical trig stations constructed in Queensland in the 19th century.
Criterion B The Townsville Astronomical Trigonometrical Station, erected in 1891, is significant for its historical role in land surveying in Queensland, and typologically, as one of only two concrete astronomical trig stations constructed in Queensland in the 19th century. As one of only two surviving Queensland 19th century trig stations, the other being at Thursday Island, the place has rarity value.
Criterion D The Townsville Astronomical Trigonometrical Station, erected in 1891, is significant for its historical role in land surveying in Queensland, and typologically, as one of only two concrete astronomical trig stations constructed in Queensland in the 19th century.

History
History In 1891 an astronomical observatory and trigonometrical [trig] station were constructed at the top of Stanton Hill in Townsville, to the design of government surveyor and astronomer Robert Hoggan. The observatory no longer survives, but the concrete trig station remains. In the late 19th century, trig stations were erected in most of the principal towns of Queensland, as part of the first attempt to map Queensland on a large scale using common data. Despite the passage of years this data remains important because of its comparative value for modern surveyors. Most of the Queensland trig stations were timber posts, only remnants of which survive, erected to support a theodolite which measured vertical and horizontal lines. At Townsville and Thursday Island, concrete pillars rather than timber posts were erected, and these have survived largely because of their more substantial construction. While surveyors no longer need to use the Townsville trig station it is still in a serviceable condition.

Description
Description The Townsville Astronomical Trigonometrical Station is situated on the northern boundary of a home units complex which occupies the summit of Stanton Hill. It is constructed of concrete and is cone shaped. The pillar stands 1.5 metres high by 0.3 metres in diameter with three holes in the top, which supported the theodolite. A paved area and gardens surround the trig station.

Element
Element Name Townsville Astronomical Trigonometrical Station
Design Period 1870s - 1890s Late 19th century
Construction Period 1891 - 1891
Fabric (Exterior Structure) Concrete

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Last updated: 15 March 2013

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