Billups, Percy Christopher Charles, Dr. (1859-1938), medical surgeon, amateur observer and observer of comets, lived in Barry.

Bowen, Edward George, FRS (1911-1991), physicist, astronomer and Australian scientific administrator, originated from Swansea.

Bruce, W. Conybeare, Ven. Archdeacon (1844-1919), Anglican cleric and amateur astronomer, owned 12-inch reflector in observatory.

Cowling, Thomas George, Prof., FRS (1906-1990), applied mathematician and astrophysicist, one time lecturer in Swansea.

Davies, David Tegfan, Rev. Dr. (1883-1963), amateur observer and popular lecturer, resided in Pontypridd and Glynneath.

Evans, Franklen George, Dr., JP (1826-1904), medical doctor and amateur astronomer, owned 12-inch reflector in observatory, Cardiff and Vale of Neath.

Featherstone, Bernard Edward (1913-1995), amateur astronomer.

Heath, Thomas Edward (1849-1918), amateur observer, popular lecturer, Cardiff and Penarth.

Jenkins, John (1803-1868), clockmaker/jeweller/gunsmith; Swansea’s first FRAS.

Jones, Dan, Cardiff, curator of the Cardiff City Telescope.

Jones, Evan Lewis (1876-?), popular lecturer, lived Merthyr Tyfil.

Lattey, Norman (fl.1890s), amateur observer and organiser, resident in Cardiff in 1890s.

Lee, Henry Herbert, Major General (1838-1920), amateur observer, Dinas Powys.

Llewellyn, John Dillwyn, FRS (1810-1882), amateur astronomer, built observatory on estate at Pen-lle’r-gaer.

Madge, Ernest (1876-?), amateur observer, astrophotographer, Tongwynlais.

Mee, Arthur Butler Phillips (1860-1926), amateur astronomer and author, lived in Cardiff (Jones 2014, 77).

Middlehurst, Barbara (1915-1995), US-based writer on astronomy and lunar specialist, originated from Penarth.

Norton, Arthur Philip (1876-1955), author of Norton’s Star Atlas, was born in Cardiff.

Pigott, Nathaniel, FRS (1725-1804), amateur astronomer, lived at Frampton, near Llantwit Major in the 1770s.

Pigott, Edward (1753-1825), amateur astronomer and son of Nathaniel Pigott, lived at Frampton, near Llantwit Major in the 1770s where he established an observatory (see below).

Rees, John  (1862-?), amateur observer, popular lecturer, Penarth.

Smyth, William Henry, Admiral (1788-1865), lived for a time in Cardiff while supervising construction of new docks.

Tanner, Henry William Lloyd, Prof., FRS (1851-1915), professor of mathematics in Cardiff, amateur observer.

Taylor, Albert (1865-?), one time assistant to Sir Norman Lockyer and to Andrew Ainslie Common, organised Royal Society and R.A.S. Eclipse Expeditions, lived in Penarth.

Waters, William John (b. 1875), amateur observer, telescope maker, Abercynffig.

Whitmell, Charles Thomas (1849-1919), amateur astronomer and observer, one time resident in Cardiff. (see Yorkshire for full details)

Williams, Harry Samuel (1840-1921), amateur astronomer, Swansea.

Winks,William Edward, Rev. (1842-?), amateur observer, popular lecturer, Cardiff.


Pigott’s observatory  (1777-81), Frampton, near Llantwit Major, established by Nathaniel Pigott (1725–1804).  on his estate at Frampton House, Glamorganshire 1777. Equippied with a transit by Sisson, a six-foot achromatic by Dollond, and several smaller telescopes. Pigott determined his latitude, and in 1778-9 discovered some double stars with a transit circle.  He the removed to Bootham, York (see Yorkshire, North Riding).

Llewellyn’s Observatory (c.1851), Penllergaer (Penllergare) nr. Swansea, established by  John Dillwyn Llewellyn (1810-82) with a 4 3/4-inch Dollond refractor (Birks 2005).

Cardiff City Observatory (1906-1979), public observatory, Penylan, Cardiff, with 12-inch reflector, formerly private observatory of Archdeacon Conybeare Bruce (1844-1919) at St. Nicholas, Vale of Glamorgan (1870s-1882) and later owned by Franklen Evans (Jones 2014, 78-9).

Mee’s Observatory (1890s-1900), private observatory of Arthur Mee  (1860-1926) at his home  at Llanishen, Cardiff housing a 8 1/2-inch reflecting telescope by Calver (Jones 2014, 77).

Barry Astronomical Society Observatory (1914- ), established on the Buttrils in Barry with a 8 1/2-inch reflecting telescope by Calver donated by Arthur Mee (Jones 2014, 79).

Swansea Astronomical Society obsevatories (1980s-present), Fairwood Common and Swansea Marina.

Jenkins’s Observatory (1842- ), a private observatory of John Jenkins (1802-1868) on the roof of 50 Wind Street. Swansea.  A watch maker it housed a Transit telescope providing a time service to the nearby port (Jones 2014, 74).

Societies and Organisations

Astronomical Society of Wales (ASW1), 1895-c.1914, held regular meetings in Cardiff.

Astronomical Society of Wales (ASW2), active (1981-c.1994), held regular meetings in Neath and Port Talbot.

Barry Astronomical Society (BarAS), active 1920s.

Bridgend Astronomical Society (BrideAS), founded in 1982 with an average membership of 30.   It currently meets once a month at Pyle Church Hal (CF33 6AE), to hear talks by lecturers mostly from Cardiff and Swansea Universities.  Group observation sessions are held at various dark sites on a regular basis.  In July 1994, Society members built a radio telescope to successfully listen to fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy-9 colliding with Jupiter.

Cambrian Astronomical Society (CaAS), existed Cardiff (1960s).

Cardiff Astronomical Society (CardAS1), society first founded 1920s, but short lived (Chapman 1998, 265-6).

Cardiff Astronomical Society (CardAS2), re-established 1975 by Dr. Bob Owens, with an early meeting held at Penylan Observatory in Cyncoed Gardens, Cardiff. Members (300-2016) meet at Cardiff University (CF24 3AA) and use the society observatory at Dyffryn Gardens.

Llynfi Valley Astronomical Society (LVAS), founded 1920s.

Port Talbot Astronomical Society (PTAS), founded (?). Members meet at Mozart Drive Community Centre, Sandfields, Port Talbot.

Swansea Astronomical Society (SwAS), founded 1948-present.

Authors, lecturers, broadcasters

Nathaniel Pigott, F.R.S. (d. 1804) published in Phil. Trans.

Edward Pigott (1753-1825) published in Phil. Trans.

Admiral William Henry Smyth (1788-1865).

Arthur Mee (1860-1926).

Arthur Phillip Norton (1876-1955), author of Norton’s Star Atlas, was born in Cardiff
Barbara Middlehurst (1915-1995), American-based astronomical author, originated in Penarth.

Bernard Featherstone (1913-1995).
Academics and associated professionals

Edward Bowen, F.R.S. (1911-1991).

Barbara Middlehurst (1915-1995).

Thomas George Cowling, F.R.S. (1906-1990), applied mathematician and astrophysicist, one time lecturer in Swansea.

Large astrophysics research group at University College Cardiff, later University of Wales Cardiff, 1970s-present.

Telescope/equipment manufacturers

Useful addresses

Local History Centre/ County Record Office
Glamorgan Building
King Edward VII Avenue
Cathays Park
Cardiff CF10 3NE
Tel 029 2078 0282
Fax 029 2078 0284


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