Observatories: Hampshire

Aldershot Obsevatory [AlO] (1906- ), Rushmoor, Aldershot, established by the Aldershot military corp after the gift of a Grubb 8-inch refractor by Patrick Young Alexander, an aviation pioneer. Alexander had first offered the telescope to the city of Bath who refused the offer, instead the War Office took on the cost of providing an observatory and its upkeep.  The telescope was used to teach officiers astronavigation and was used by local members of the BAA – observations of the Great White Spot on Saturn were recorded from the observatory (WIKI).

Berthon’s Romsey Observatory [BRO] (1860-1892), Romsey, established by the Rev. Edward L. Berthon, the vicar of Romsey.  He designed and built a small wooden transit room and adjacent equatorial room that became the ‘type’ named after were Berthon lived . Its simple design with no curved parts, was popularised by George Chambers (Chambers 1890, 228-34) in print, allowing hundreds of amateurs to copy it.  It is not clear which of the many telescopes he constructed was housed at his Romsey home – 12-inch reflector [?] (Obit., MNRAS, 60 (1900), 314-6).

Drew’s Observatory [DrO] (1847-57), Winsor Terrace, Cumberland Place, Southampton, established by John Drew in the garden of his home. Equipment was a 3¼-inch (fl 42-inch) Jones transit instrument (1835),  and the ‘Beaufoy’ clock by Baker on loan from the RAS. With these he determined time very accurately, and for many years supplied it to the ships in the port. In 1847 he added a 5-foot Dollond equatorial (OG 3¾-inch). Between 1848 and 1853 he took regular meteorological observations, reported them, and was invited to become a founder member of the British Meteorological Society. Then his health began to fail (Weale 1851, 64; Obit., MNRAS, 18 (1858), 98; Howse 1986, 82).

Markwick’s Observatory [MaOB](1905-14), Boscombe, 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. and an 8.5-inch (21.6cm) altazimuth Calver reflector and 4-inch Grubb equatorial refractor (Shears 2012c).

Naval Academy Observatory [NAOP] (c.1765-c.1830), established at the Naval Academy, Portsmouth (later Royal Naval Academy) under the leadership of William Bayley and equipped with small instruments (WIKI; Howse 1986, 80).

Worthington’s  Observatory [WOFM] (1913-1925), Four Marks, nr. Alton, established by James H. Worthington with a 10-inch  refractor by Cooke (1871), with a visual prominence spectroscope, a 20-inch Calver reflector, adding a new 4-inch Alvan Clark refractor in 1914, and two Steinheil photoheliographs. Worthington little used his telescope spending most of his time in the United States but made it available to members of RAS & BAA – W.H. Steavenson & R.L. Waterbury were frequent visitors. After the observatory closed, the refractor was acquired by Walter Goodacre being installed at his Finchley Observatory.  Later it was purchased by St Andrew’s University, and transferred  transferred to the Mills Observatory in the early 1950s (Worthington 1914Marriott 2006; Mobberley 2018).

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