While some surveying jobs are more mundane, others are truly memorable. Explore these stories of surveying secret rooms, oil tankers and 12th century castles.

Carew Castle

“An unusual valuation I undertook was on behalf of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority. The Park owns Carew Castle, a twelfth century fortified Norman Castle which adjoins the Carew River.

"It was originally part of a line of fortified castles built in a line across the middle of the County (the Landsker Line) to protect immigrant Flemings who had settled in the south of Pembrokeshire from the native Welsh population to the north.

“The Castle was in a ruinous state but as a Grade 1 listed building in pasture land it attracted many visitors each year – and indeed still does. The RICS asset valuations guidance was utilised but because the cost of actual repair to the castle would have been enormous, I recall that the final valuation figure was low.”

Paul Lucas FRICS

The Secretary of State's 'survival room'

"I was tasked with measuring the net internal area of a central government building in London. Amongst many interesting and top secret areas I came across, the most notable was a survival room designed for the Secretary of State to manage affairs during some type of catastrophic event.

"The room was basic and had a couple of single beds, bathroom, kitchen and work areas. A supply of food was also kept there so it was ready for immediate occupancy."

Kevin Perrina MRICS

Surveying a shrine

“St Mary’s Catholic Church in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, has been standing since the 15th century and it was my privilege recently to conduct a survey within it for Ampleforth Abbey Trust.

“As part of this we surveyed the Chapel of Our Lady of the Crag, more accurately referred to as a shrine. The Grade I Listed shrine is carved into the cliff face above the River Nidd.”

Nick Outram MRICS

Read more about surveying a shrine

Sheepcoate Mortuary, London

“I remember carrying out a schedule of condition and measurements of the post mortem room at Sheepcote Mortuary in Battersea, London. It was on a ‘busy’ day prior to internal re-decoration works.”

Christopher Allen MRICS

US Naval Base

“I’ve surveyed a former US Naval Base in Scotland just after it was de-commissioned, and a cliff at Lochinver for partial demolition so that a nearby football pitch could be widened. In 1990, I even surveyed an abattoir and was given a pound of sausages by the client after the inspection.”

Michael Holden FRICS

Pembrokeshire's River Cleddau

“In the 1980s, I was tasked with surveying land under the ownership of the Milford Docks Company. This area included part of the shore line either side of the River Cleddau in Pembrokeshire, together with buildings and a small petroleum tanker ship which transported oil from larger ships berthed in Milford Haven.

"Before the days of the internet, I had to speak to expert RICS members and read up on the issue. The final valuation had to take account of the turning circle of the ship as this affected part of the use of the Milford Haven waterway.”

Paul Lucas FRICS

Do you have a strange surveying story to share? Let us know below.

Featured image by M Packwood Ace (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Comments (0)

Only Registered Members and Registered site users can comment on our content.

Please use the log in button to sign in and leave your comment.

Read the next page in this section