|Here brief descriptions of the GTS trigonometrical station sites surveyed in 2016-17 are provided, based upon fieldwork undertaken as part of the Surveying Empires research project, as well as historical records.
Nibria GTS tower station. Photo: K Lilley (November 2016)
For each trigonometrical station, the coordinates of surveyed sites are noted (in decimal degrees), and in some cases estimated where sites could not be located on the ground. The date of each field-survey visit is provided, and the trigonometrical series to which a station belonged is noted. The relevant 1920s Survey of India (SoI) 1:125,000 map-sheet reference number is given, and a small extract from the appropriate sheet shows the station (indicated on the map as a triangle, marked with the letters ‘TS’) to show its immediate locality.
The station site description is based upon the project fieldwork, and the level of detail differs between sites depending on the structural remains of the station and whether it was successfully located in the field. As well as a fabric survey of the trigonometrical stations, the fieldwork included an ethnographic survey in the villages adjoining the station sites to understand how the GTS station towers are preserved in local memory and become part of local history. A series of informal interviews in the field was conducted with (usually) the eldest member of the village. The villages where ethnographic surveys were undertaken are: Haldarpukur (Samalia), Sarisha, Bhola, Dilakash, Andul (Mourir bazar) (Aknapur).
As well as the description based upon site survey, a further short description based on historical records is also provided. This is an extract taken from the GTS descriptions of stations published in the 1880s in the series “Synopsis of the Results of the Operations of the GTS”, in particular volumes XII (‘Calcutta Longitudinal Series’, published 1880), XIII (‘East Coast Series’, published 1880), XX (‘Calcutta Meridional Series’, published 1883), and XXI (‘East Calcutta Longitudinal Series’, published 1883).
The current (2017) condition of the GTS trigonometrical station is summarised, and the photographs accompanying the station entries further reveal the state of the fabric of station structures, as well as their architectural and constructional details.