Email: Survey Officer

Prior to 1928 Angus was called Forfarshire.



Mills Observatory [MOD] (1935- ) Balgay Park, Dundee, established as the first purpose built public astronomical observatory in the UK. Completed in 1935, the observatory was funded through a bequest by the industrialist John Mills a linen maker who was also a keen amateur astronomer. The sanstone building, classically styled has a 7-metre dome, which housing a 10-inch Cooke refracting telescope, a small planetarium, and display areas. It originally housed a 18-inch Newtonian telescope with an open skeletal that was plagued from stray city lights. The original telescope was exchanged for the current one with the University of St Andrews.  The Cooke telescope was previously owned by J.H. Worthington at his home in Four Marks nr. Winchester then by Walter Goodacre at Bournmouth (Flood 1986; Gavine 1968).

St Andrew’s Observatory [SAO)] (1672- ?), St Leonards, St Andrews, planned and established by James Gregory. The building stood south-east of the Library until the 19th-century when it was demolished. Instruments included a draw-tube telescope, meridian instruments and a pendulum clock by Knibb (Turnbull 1938; Rawson 2015).

St Andrews University Observatory [SAUO] (1939- ), St Andrews, established by Sir Peter Scott Lang (1850-1926), Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, who wished to encourage astronomy. He bequeathed money to found a Dept. of Astronomy. In 1936 his daughter Edith founded the Napier Lectureship in Astronomy, the first appointee was Dr E. Finlay-Freundlich. Building started in 1941 and the University observatory was first equipped with a 4-inch refractor borrowed from the Royal Institute. A 10-inch Cooke refractor of 1871, and a coelostat were purchased – formerly owned by James H. Worthington. The Cooke was transferred to the Mills Observatory in the early 1950s, because between 1948-50 a 15/19-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain was built. In 1952 the staff started building the James Gregory Telescope, a 30/36-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain. It was completed in 1962, the largest optical telescope built in Scotland (King 1955, 374-7; Hilditch 2015).

Astronomy Groups

Dundee Astronomical Society (DunAS), founded 1956.  Members meet once or twice a month at the Mills Observatory, Balgay Hill, Dundee.


Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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