Observatories: Middlesex

Bishops Observatory (1861-77) [2] Meadowbank, Twickenham, established by George Bishop, Jnr., son of George Bishop (1785-1861). Upon the death of his father, he moved the 7-inch Dollond refractor with mount and dome to a new larger observatory building at his riverside home in Twickenham.  The move was forced due to the smoke and lights of London  obscuring the southern horizon from Regents Park.  John Hind moved there initially in order to continue his own observations, then George Talmage, a 24 year-old double star observer, returned until the Observatory was closed in 1877. He was assisted from 1868-74 by William E. Plummer who had been trained at the ROG. Plummer went on to be First Assistant at the new University of Oxford Observatory in 1875. The instruments and valuable library were given to The Royal Observatory (Capodimontes Observatory), Naples (ILN 1869; Howard-Duff 1985, 25).

Count de Brühl’s Observatory (1790-1815), established Count Brühl at Harefield, Middlesex (Howse 1986).

Common’s Ealing Observatory (1876-1903), Ealing Common, established by Andrew Common in a shed in his garden, with an 18-inch silvered glass reflector in 1876 (later disposed of the the Duncombe Observatory, Leeds. In 1879 he designed a 36-inch mounting for a Calver mirror, and used it for astrophotography. He replaced it in 1889 with a 60-inch instrument.

De la Rue’s Cranford Observatory, (1857-73), established by Warren de la Rue to house his 13-inch reflector, to which he fitted a clock drive. He became a pioneering astro-photographer, designed the heliometer for Kew Observatory, and in 1873 when difficulties with his eyes compelled him to cease observing, he gave his reflector and the contents of his observatory to the new Oxford University Observatory.

Water’s Observatory (fl.1931), Durham Road, Middlesex, established by Henry Hayden Waters at his home and equipped with a  5-inch Zeiss refracting telescope on loan from the BAA (Stroobant 1931).

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