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Townsville Astronomical Trigonometrical Station

  • 600926
  • Stanton Hill, Townsville

General

Also known as
Townsville Observatory
Classification
State Heritage
Register status
Entered
Date entered
21 October 1992
Type
Exploration / survey / early settlement: Trigonometrical reserve/station
Theme
2.1 Exploiting, utilising and transforming the land: Exploring, surveying and mapping the land
Construction period
1891, Townsville Astronomical Trigonometrical Station (1891 - 1891)
Historical period
1870s–1890s Late 19th century

Location

Address
Stanton Hill, Townsville
LGA
Townsville City Council
Coordinates
-19.25528094, 146.81309499

Map

Street view

Photography is provided by Google Street View and may include third-party images. Images show the vicinity of the heritage place which may not be visible.

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Significance

Criterion AThe place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland’s history.

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 BThe place demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of Queensland’s cultural heritage.

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 DThe place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class of cultural places.

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

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

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.

Image gallery

Location

Location of Townsville Astronomical Trigonometrical Station within Queensland
Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
20 January 2016
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