Observatories: Warwickshire

Aston University Observatory [AUOB] (c.1980s- ), Aston University Campus, established by Birmingham Astronomical Society. The fibre glass domed building is located on the roof of a facility building and houses an 8-inch SCT catadioptric telescope with a smaller refracting telescope.

Coleshill Hall Observatory [CHOC] (c.1972-1987), Coleshill Hall Hospital, Coleshill Park, established by the Chelmsley Astronomical Society – Heart of England Astronomical Society after 1988. The original structure, a run-off shed housed a 6-inch reflecting telescope.  A later domed building included a meeting room and an 8-inch reflector. The later structure was abandoned in 1987 when the hospital was sold for redevelopment – dome was sold to the Derwent Astronomical Society.

Shuckburgh’s Observatory [ShO] (1791-1810), Lower Shuckburgh, established by Sir George Augustus William Shuckburgh-Evelyn at Shuckburgh Hall.  It was equipped  with a fine regulator clock by Arnold and a 4.1-inch equatorial refractor by Jesse Ramsden (1792) – the famed ‘Shuckburgh Equatorial’. After Shuckburgh’s death it passed to the Royal Observatory, Greenwich in 1811 (Shuckburgh 1793; Howse 1986, 80-1; McConnell 2007, 135-7).

Temple Observatory [TeO] (1871- ), Rugby School, Rugby, a wooden structure first erected in the garden of the mathematics & natural sciences master, James M. Wilson (1836-1931).  The telescope and observatory were purchased from Alfred Lowe. Later in 1871/2 the school obtained the famed 8¼-inch Alvan Clark equatorial (1859) formerly owned by W. R. Dawes. Due to the limitations of the original Lowe structure a new brick-built observatory (£458) was erected by 1877).  This also housed a 12⅛-inch With reflector, a 15-inch reflector, and a heliostat.  George Mitchell Seabroke followed Wilson as director. The observatory gained a world-class status for double star observations, corresponding with S.W. Burnham and Otto Struve and undertook joint observations with Joseph Gledhill – lead to A Handbook of Double Stars, with a Catalogue of Twelve Hundred Double Stars and Extensive Lists of Measures (London, Macmillan, 1879) by Crossley, Gledhill and Wilson. A programme of solar observations was also followed with exchanges with Lockyer and Hale. In recent years the observatory has been refurbished and re-opened in 2011 (Marriott 1991; Stroobant 1931).

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