Observatories: Staffordshire

Keele Observatory [KO] (1962-current), Keele, established on the campus of the newly founded Keele University.  It was originally equipped witha 12-inch Grubb refractor, from Oxford University Observatory and the 12-inch Hinton reflector. The refurbished facilities now include a research-grade 60cm reflector (see website).

Newchapel Observatory [NeO] (1964-2009), Newchapel, Stoke-on-Trent, established by brothers Tony and Michael Pace. The site is now run as the Newchapel Natural Science Centre (see archived BBC website).

Ward’s Observatory [WaO] (1828-40), Lapley (nr. Pinkridge & Brewood) established by Revd. Michael Ward at the village of Lapley.  It was equipped with an altazimuth circle and clock on loan from the RAS (Howse 1986, 75; Obit., MNRAS, 5 (1843, 241; ‘Report to the 23rd AGM’, MNRAS, 14-5 [1843], p.262).

Wrottesley Hall Observatory [WHO] (1842-1867), Tettenhall, established by Sir John Wrottesley, in the grounds of his residence. The principal instrument was a 7¾-inch refractor by Dollond carried on an ‘Old English cross-axis mount made of mahogany- clock drive unreliable.  Wrottesley employed observing assistents John Hartnup, followed by Morton Philpott with Frederic Morton and Mr Hough. Observations (1842-54) were made to produce two supplementary catalogues to the Blackheath Catalogue and in 1851 he published the Periodic observations of 19 stars for Parallax. In 1861 a catalogue of the positions and distances of 398 double stars was p[roduced (Obit., MNRAS, 28 (1867), 64-8; Armitage 2006).

Wrottesley Observatory [WOBCM] (2007-2010), established at the Black Country Museum under the auspice of John Armitage. Like the nearby Wrottesley-Philips Observatory it housed a restored 7-inch Calver refector (BAA No.150)  in in a wooden Romsey-type observatory building. Used for public out-reach it was closed after a change of director at the museum who thought it did not fit in with their plans (‘Opening of the Wrottesley Observatory’, JBAA, 119 [1] (2009), 40; Obit.  BulSHA, Issue 25 (2016), 89-95).

Wrottesley-Philips Observatory [WPO] (2006-2010), Codsall, established at the Pendrell Hall Adult Education College under the auspice of John Armitage. Along with an existing modern telescope, the obseratory was furbished with a transit instrument and 12-inch Calver reflector (BAA No.93) on loan from the BAA housed in a wooden Romsey-type observatory building. The observatory closed with the sale of college site in 2010 – now a wedding venue (‘Summer Picnics’, NewsSHA, Issue 13 (2007), 12-3; Obit. BulSHA, Issue 25 (2016), 89-95).

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