Observatories Hertfordshire

Beaufoy’s Bushey Observatory [BeOBH] (1816-27), Bushey Heath, established by Colonel Mark Beaufoy (1764-1827), with a 3-inch Cary transit, an altazimuth, and two clocks- The instruments were loaned by the Astronomical Society to Captain William Smyth (Howse 1986, 67).

Bayfordbury Observatory  [BOB] (1967- ) University of Hertfordshire’s  teaching observatory located in the relatively dark countryside of Bayfordbury, Hertfordshire, 6 miles from the main university campus in Hatfield. The first telescope was built in 1969, and since then has been used as a teaching observatory for undergraduate students, staff and student research as well as for public outreach activities (see website).

High Top Observatory [HTO] (1974- ), High Top, Flauden, established by South West Hertfordshire Astronomical Society. The brick-built domed observatory is equipped with an 11-inch SCT catadioptric telescope on an equatorial mount.

Lax’s Observatory [LOSTH] (c.1815- ), St Ibbs, nr. Hitchin, established by William Lax in the garden of his home. The delapidated circular building is ill-suited for observation with a fixed roof and only narrow window slots to observe through.  Locally attributed to Sir Isaac Newton and having been brought from Cambridge, it appears the structure was constructed by local builder and glazier who shared the same name (Hutton 1815, 129; Johnson 2021, 35-6).

Parr’s Observatory [POSA] (1927-36) The Hollies, St. Albans, established by W. A. Parr at his home – re-erected from an earlier site in Hampstead. Furnished with a 4-inch Cooke refractor and an Evershed spectroscope – donated to St. Albans High School for girls (Obit., MNRAS, 59 (1936), 197Obit., Obs,  97 (4), 279Stroobant 1931).

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