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An elaborate toposcope on Beacon Hill in the Lickey Hills near Birmingham, UK

A toposcope or topograph is a marker erected on hills or high places which indicates the direction, and usually the distance, to notable landscape features which can be seen from that point.[1] They are often placed in public parks, country parks, the grounds of stately homes, or places of historical note, such as battlefields.[1]

Toposcopes are often inscribed, and dedicated to particular people or events.[1] They usually show the points of the compass, or at least North.

Slate toposcope at the top of Roundton Hill, with North prominently marked.

Smaller toposcopes usually consist of a circular plaque, or a plaque with a circle marked on it, mounted horizontally on a plinth.[1] They will have radiating lines indicating the direction to various landmarks, together with the distance and often a pictorial representation of the landmark.[1]

A plinth-mounted toposcope atop Lantern Pike.

Large toposcopes may be circular paved areas, with numerous plaques around the perimeter, each indicating a particular feature of the landscape.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Bathurst Toposcope". Where to stay. ZA. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 

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