Observatories: Somerset

Brodie’s Wadbury Observatory [BWO] (1853-4), Wadbury House, established by Frederick Brodie at his home. The building consisted of a transit room adjacent to a 12-sided equatorial room with a 15-foot cone-type dome with two metal rings supported by cannon balls. It was equipped with a 3-inch transit instrument (fl 45-inch) and 6.4-inch Merz refractor (fl 8.5-feet) carried on a equatorial mount of Brodie’s own design. The observatory and telescope were moved to Eastbourne after his wife died in 1858, and he quit Somerset moving in with his mother (Chambers 1890, 71-2 & fig. 64; Obit., MNRAS, 58 (1896), 131-3). 

Herschel’s Bath Observatory [WHOB] (1776-82), New Kings Street, established by William Herschel, obsering in the garden or road with portable instruments (Howse 1986, 64-5).

Lawson’s Bath Observatory [LBO] (1841-1855), 7 Lansdown Crescent, Bath, established by Henry Lawson. The open-air observing platform on the roof  of the terrace house was equipped with a 7-inch Dollond refractor (fl 11-feet) on a cross-axis English mount. When the observatory was dismantled the telescope was offered to the city council in Nottingham, but instead was later installed in the new observatory at the Royal Hospital School, Greenwich  (Howse 1986, 65; Lawson 1844) – see County of London.

Pond’s Observatory [JPO] (c.1806-11), Westbury-sub-Mendip, established by John Pond and equipped with an altazimuth Circle. Known as ‘the Westbury Circle’ it was made by Edward Troughton, London. Dismantled in 1811 when was appointed Astronomer Royal succeeding Nevil Maskelyne at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich (Howse 1986, 83).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s