Clifton Observatory, Clifton Down, Bristol

Clifton Observatory, Clifton Down, Bristol
Photograph taken 12 October 1999 © Mrs Joy Roddy LRPS. Source Historic England Archive ref: 379207

The original 17th century windmill was damaged by fire in 1777. William West leased it for conversion into an observatory in 1828. In 1835 he was granted an extra piece of land next to the tower and built a new astronomical observatory. It had a revolving dome and telescope "to allow unrestricted observation of the heaven". Next to this was a large room with various astronomical maps, globes and instruments. It was intended for occasional use as a lecture room. In 1835 a camera obscura was added. West also excavated an underground passage to Ghyston's Cave. It was opened in 1837.


Bristol Bristol


Georgian (1714 - 1836)


science astronomy windmill observatory tourism Georgian (1714 - 1836)