Reality Checkpoint – Cambridge, England - Atlas Obscura

Reality Checkpoint

An ordinary lamppost situated in the middle of Cambridge has an unusual moniker and history.  


In the municipality of Cambridge, situated at the crossroads of several footpaths amidst Parker’s Piece field, resides a cast-iron lamppost known as “Reality Checkpoint.”

The lamppost dates back to the late 19th century. Several theories exists as to how this lamppost received its curious moniker. It’s believed that students attending Anglia Ruskin University nicknamed the permanent feature sometime after the 1960s.

It’s also a popular theory that this spot marks the midpoint of the university’s center, and the “reality” of the real world living beyond the post. Being a solitary fixture in this open field, it’s also believed that the post may have been a guide used during foggy nights, or a point for inebriated students to gather their bearings before passing the police station. 

Know Before You Go

The lamppost is at the intersection of the four paths of Parker's Piece on the edge of the city center.


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