Observatories: Cumberland

Fletcher’s Observatory [FlO] (1848-79), Tarn Bank House, Greysouthen, near Cockermouth, was established by Isaac Fletcher. Inspired by the work of Admiral Smyth proposed to re-observe double stars from his Celestial Cycle catalogue. At first he observed with a 4¼-inch Cooke refractor on a Dollond cross-axis English Mount (1847-64). Later in 1859 he acquired a 9½-inch Cooke (12¼-ft. FL) that was mounted in a similar but made of iron rather than wood and was housed in an 18-feet tower with14-feet dome. An attached annex was equipped with a Simms transit instrument and a clock by Frodsham.  The telescope was later acquired by Samuel Chatwood of Worsley, near Manchester before being  moved to Wanganui, New Zealand (Hingley 2013Howse 1986; Andre and Rayet 1874, 160-2).

Housman’s Observatory  [HoO] (fl.1931-1955), Seaton House, Worthington, established by W. B. Houseman at his home and furbished with a 5-inch Cooke refractor. Used for visual and photographic observations of aurora and zodiacal light (Stroobant 1931).

Miller’s Observatory [MiO] (1850-56), Whitehaven, established by John Fletcher Miller, who had a reputation as a meteorologist before he joined the RAS and the Royal Society. He built an observatory with an elegant revolving conical roof, adjacent to the family’s tannery in Wellington Row. He observed double stars, Encke’s Comet, Saturn, the Sun and Mercury. Like Fletcher he had a 4-inch Cooke achromat with Simms micrometer, but German mounted with clock drive. Fletcher had a high regard for Miller’s measurements and used them to compare to his own observations (Cantor 2005, 193-6; Obit. MNRAS, 17 (1857), 99-100).

Trinity School Observatory [TSO] (1988- ), Carlisle (Technical) College, Carlisle, established by the Border Astronomical Society.  The domed brick-built observatory is equipped with a 16-inch reflecting telescope

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