Benchmarks in England

Across Great Britain is a network of benchmarks. There used to be about half a million benchmarks, but as they have become obsolete, about half have disappeared. The first primary leveling in the UK was carried out in 1841-60, the second in 1912-21, and the third in 1951-56.

The horizontal bar above the arrow denotes a calcuated and known height or altitude in relation to other Odnance Survey marks across the UK. The datum for mainland Great Britain is mean sea level at Newlyn. They were used for map making before the advent of GPS.
This one is on a pillar outside the Corn Exchange building in Leeds
These are in Bibury

Boot Scrapers in Oxford

In addition to its abundance of beautiful architecture, famous colleges and courtyards, spires, museums, and canals, Oxford also has its fair share of lovely boot scrapers.
In a quiet residential area, I stumbled across a long street filled with boot scrapers  — almost every one with a unique shape.
But they were found all over, in the colleges and in other residential neigborhoods.

Above this boot scraper is a handle
Matching door and boot scraper

There used to be door here...

Anti-Toilet in London

I first heard of anti-toilets from an article about urine deflectors in London. Since then I have come across them in Austria and Prague, and possibly a curious indoor one in Lviv. In my recent short visit to London, I came across this set of anti-toilets.

Ghost Signs in England

England's ghost signs, or fading brick ads, are the most famous and numerous. There is a website Ghostsigns dedicated to them (above all in England, but also around the world) and on Facebook there are many groups dedicated to these old signs.
Suprisingly I didn't come across that many during my trip, but here are a few.


Oxford (faux ghost sign, advertsing a bar)

Stiles in Bibury

The village of Bibury is located in the Cotswolds — a region in south-central England famous for its Cotswold stone (a type of limestone) and historic, charming villages.

Along with the stone cottages, another feature of this region is its dry stone walls. While the oldest example of such a wall in the Cotswolds dates to about 2000 BC, most of the ones around today are from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the second half of the twenthieth century, these walls started to become redundant as the fields were being used more for growing crops rather than for raising livestock.

Long streches of stone wall cannot be without gates or stiles. Walking around the fields of Bibury, I came across many stone stiles, and one wooden one.

Stiles in the Carpathians

Stiles, or perelazy in Ukrainian, are structures that provide people with a way to easily pass over a fence while at the same time preventing farm animals from passing through. Stiles are found in the countryside around the world and come in all kinds of forms.
In the Carpathians, they are typically made of wood, and even in just one village I came across several different types.
Perelazy from the beautiful Hustul village of Kryvorivnia

Perelazy have even found their way into Ukrainian folklore: there are dozens of folk songs that feature perelazy in their texts.
Ой не світи, місяченьку та й на той перелаз  (Oh, moon, don't shine on that perelaz)
In fact, you can even karaoke sing about perelazy! Перелаз, мій перелаз (Perelaz, my perelaz)