ABOVE: True, magnetic and grid north have all converged at a single location in England

A village in Dorset made its mark in the history of cartography during October, when true, magnetic and
grid north all convened at a single point. According to the Ordnance Survey (OS) the remarkable triple alignment made landfall in Langton Matravers, near Swanage in Dorset. It will stay converged for three and a half years as it travels through the UK.

OS spokesman Mark Greaves said this was the “first time ever in British mapping history” that the three norths had aligned, adding, “magnetic north has a habit of wandering around, but this is unusual, it’s not been in this orientation for hundreds of years.”

The position of the magnetic North Pole moves continually north-westward due to adjustments in the magnetic field in the core of the Earth. It is this perpetual movement that has created the convergence and is responsible for the historic alignment.