Observatories: Cheshire


Bidston Observatory (1867-1914), Bidston, Birkenhead, (Merseyside since 1974), first established as the Liverpool Observatory in Waterloo Dock, Liverpool. Completed in 1849 it was jointly funded by the city council and dock authorities.  later in 1856 it was transferred to the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board. In 1867 they relocated to Bidston Hill on the Wirral. The Observatory’s role was to test chronometers and give time to the city. The equipment was a 4-inchTroughton & Simms transit, and a 8½-inch Merz equatorial with 4-foot circles by Simms, of 1845. The Director was John Hartnup, once one of Airy’s computers at the ROG, and recommended by him. His task was the demanding one of observing faint planets during daytime as they cross the meridian, to relieve Professor Challis at Cambridge of that task until Airy’s new Meridian Circle was ready (Scoffield 2006; Schmidt and Dearden 2019).

Bidston_Observatory Web

Later the Observatory was connected to Liverpool University and its Tidal Institute, which occupied the building after 1919.

Two seismographs 1897-1950s, surveying until the 1950s. meteorology section.

No astronomy since 1914, the original telescopes dismounted c.1970

Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics


Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics
Alan Turing Building
The University of Manchester
M13 9PL

Tel +44 (0) 1477 571321

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