Observatories: Devon

Blundell’s School Observatory [BSO] (1985- ), Blundell’s Prep School, Blundell’s Road, Tiverton, equipped with 8-inch reflector (c.1910) found at the school and now housed in a run-off shed observatory on the premises.  The instrument and others are used at used by the school in conjunction with the Tiverton Astronomical Society

Ellis’s Observatory [EOE] (fl. 1853), 200 High Street, Exeter, established by H.S. Ellis over the workshops of the business premises of Ellis and Son. It was equipped with a 20-inch transit instrument mounted on a wall bracket – eastern wall.  The same supported a Dent dipleidoscope and was  used in conjunction with a Shepherd electromagnetic regulator clock and various meteorological instruments (Lee 1853).

Exeter Astronomical Society Observatory [EASO] (1971- ? ),  erected between Exeter and Sidmouth and  equipped with Norman Lockyer’s 6 2/3-inch Cooke refractor.

Exeter University Observatory [EUO] (2000s- ), Physics Dept. Building roof, Streatham Campus, North Park Road, Exeter (EX4 4QL). The current doned structure houses a 14-inch SCT Celestron instrument – bequest by Donald R. Barber, superintendent of the Norman Lockyer Observatory. The university ran the Norman Lockyer Observatory from 1948 to 1984.

Hedley Robinson’s Observatory [HRO] (1965-1992), Teignmouth, established J. Hedley Robinson at his home.  Equipped with a 10-inch reflector it was used for variable star observation (Obit., JBAA 102 (1992), 51).

Hele’s School Observatory [HSO] (1964-1970), Southam Farm, nr. to Quarry Lane,Exeter, was equipped with Norman Lockyer’s 6 2/3-inch Cooke refractor. The telescope was transferred to the  Exeter Astronomical Society then to the Norman Lockyer Observatory (1994) where it was later re-erected in one of the original domes (Mond Telescope).

Lindemann’s Observatory [LOSHS] (1884-1927), ‘Sidholme House’, Sidmouth, established by A.F. Lindemann at his home.  Having purchased the observatory he devised his novel form of refracting telescope similar in form to a Coude instrument.  The observatory and instruments were given to University College of the South West (Exeter Iniversity) after the death of Lindemann’s wife and the house passed to her son by an earlier marriage   (Obit. MNRAS, 92 (1932), 256-8; Berman 1987).

Markwick’s Devonport Observatory [MaOD] (1898-1903), Devonport established by E.E. Markwick for variable star and solar observations. It was equipped with a 2 3/4-inch (8cm) refractor mounted on a Wray equatorial mount and tripod all housed in a run-off shed (Shears 2012c).

Norman Lockyer Observatory [NLO] (1920- ), Salcombe Hill Road, Sidmouth (EX10 0QY), established originally as the Hill Observatory by Sir Norman Lockyer, later part of Exeter University and then an educational trust. It houses several telescopes (esp. Victorian refractors); planetarium; amateur radio station; meteorological station. Owned by the East Devon District Council and operated by the NLO Society. Programme of public open afternoons and evenings. Group visits by arrangement. Educational courses. Founded in 1920 as the Hill Observatory by Sir Norman Lockyer, (Stroobant 1931).

Peek’s Rousdon Observatory [PRO] (1884-1921), ‘Peek House’, Rousdon nr Lyme Regis, established by Sir Cuthbert Edgar Peek at his father’s estate. It was equipped with a 16-cm Merz refractor on an equatorial mount.  Peek employed Charles Grover, as observer, to undertake a long series of variable star observations from the same site and instrument.  The site was then taken over by All Hallows College  in 1930 with the telescope being used by the school until 1960s and then acquired by the Science Museum, London (Slater 2005; Stroobant 1907, 73).

Roger Langdon’s Observatory [RLOS] (1874-1909), Station Master’s Cottage, Silverton, initially equipped with a 6-inch reflector, later replaced with an 8-ich one, housed in an iron circular observatory building (Langdon 1909).

Torquay Boys’ Grammar School Observatory [TBGSO] (1989- ),  Shphay Manor Drive, Torbay, established by the School and equipped with a 500-mm reflecting telescope in a domed building – supplied by Broadhurst, Clarkson & Fuller ltd. In addition to it use by the school, access is given to Torbay Astronomical Society (Moore 1996, 135-44).

Widey High School Observatory [WTSO] (c.1960-?), Crownhill, Plymouth, established at the technical school (1920-88) using a 10-inch Calver reflector. Details provide by Lawrence Harris a founder member of the Plymouth Astronomical Society.

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