14 February 2010

Tri as you might

Last week, I learnt the word "tripoint", which is the place where three countries or counties meet.

It first cropped up on University Challenge: a starter for ten was to identify the city at the tripoint of France, Germany and Switzerland. The answer was Basel.

Having been slightly obsessed with Cairo, Illinois, since going to the Cartwright and Jordan Cornerhouse exhibition on Thursday, I've been looking at various maps and information on the town, and discovered that it too is located at a tripoint: where Illinois, Missouri and Kentucky come together.

It got me thinking about other tripoints, and I remembered visiting Alfred's Tower some years ago. I like follies and this one sits on the border of Somerset and Wiltshire on the Stourhead estate, with a panorama that takes in the tripoint of Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset. Check out the aerial photos on the official King Alfred's Tower website: not only is the tower located at a tripoint, it is also triangular in plan.


  1. nice one
    & since i might tri
    here is a collection of international tripoints for you
    which could admittedly use some copy editing
    happy day

  2. Tripoints are very varied - from the tops of mountains or confluences of rivers to busy towns. They're not always as easy to spot as this one, though: http://www.dur.ac.uk/ibru/resources/drielandenpunt/

    Best wishes,


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