Saturday 19 December 2020

The Royal Lancashire Observatory

 The Royal Lancashire Observatory 

I came across a series of newspaper articles from 1839 regarding a proposed observatory on Kersal Moor near Manchester and from a simple idea it evolved into a Royal Observatory then well I don't know because  I don't have anymore information.  I hope you enjoy the following articles:-

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser Saturday 5th January 1839

Proposed Manchester and Salford Observatory.

Something more than two years have elapsed since several gentlemen, favourable to the advancement of science, and the diffusion of useful knowledge, were impressed with the importance of establishing an Astronomical Observatory in the vicinity of Manchester, and adopted some measures to promote that object.

On examining the neighbourhood, they found a situation in Victoria Park, appearing to possess more advantages than any other to which their attention had been directed; and after several interviews with the directors of the park, who met their wishes in a liberal spirit, it was resolved at a general meeting of the proprietary, that a plot of land should be offered for an Observatory, at a nominal chief rent.

With a view of availing themselves of an offer so generously made, they held a meeting at the York Hotel, King-street, on the 11th of August, 1837, at which Josh. Denison, Esq. was called the chair, when a provisional committee, consisting Dr. Dalton, Dr. Jas. L. Bardslev, Dr. Chas. Henry, Dr. Chas. Phillips, Messrs. John Kennedy,, Josh. Denison, James Wood, Wm. Fairbairn, J. C. Dyer, Peter Clare, Josh. Adshead, John Westhead, J. H. Stanway, Lawrence Buchan, William Read, Eaton Hodgkinson, and the Rev. William Giles was appointed, and requested to examine more minutely into the eligibility of the proposed plot of land, and to suggest such arrangements as would conduce to the accomplishment of the object in view.

An immediate compliance with these instructions was somewhat interfered with by the commercial difficulties of that period, but though this was unfortunately the case, the matter was kept constantly in view, and about three months since it was decided that operations should be actively resumed before the end of the year.

The committee accordingly held a meeting at Dr. Dalton's, on Monday last, the 31st ult., at which the Doctor presided, when sub-committees were appointed, for the more readily carrying into effect the resolution of the meeting held at the York Hotel, in August, 1837. —In addition to the instruments which peculiarly belong to an Astronomical Observatory, it is proposed to procure others suitable for investigating and illustrating the sciences of optics, magnetism, meteorology, &c, and to have a library, reading and lecture rooms. Surely the towns of Manchester and Salford, which have long been distinguished for science and manufacturing industry, will support an institution so highly calculated to add to their celebrity, and to afford to their inhabitants not only the means of acquiring much useful information, but of promoting the interests of several departments of science which have hitherto been cultivated by a very small proportion of the immense population of the district.

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser Saturday 3rd August 1839

Design for an Observatory Proposed to be Erected Kersal Moor.

T. W. Atkinson, Architect.—Most of our readers will be aware that it is in contemplation to establish, in the immediate neighbourhood of this town, an observatory for " astronomical and meteorological purposes," the site suggested for which is a portion of land lying on that side of Kersal Moor nearest to Manchester. The lithographic print before us is a sketch of the design made, for this purpose, by our townsman, Mr. T. Atkinson, who, in this instance, has exercised his talents most advantageously in combining architectural beauty with much of internal convenience.

The design, indeed, in its architectural features, affords great scope for admiration. The domes being essential to the astronomical operations of the institution, a Roman character has been judiciously adopted, for in no other style can the figure of a dome be made to appeal - with propriety. The principal entrance is sufficiently distinguished in importance from the rest of the front by its very suitable decoration, exhibiting, as does every other ornamental feature of the design, both good taste and strict purity of detail; the best and most classical models of the style in which the building is designed having, in this respect, been rigidly adhered to, in the spirit, at least, if not in the letter.

The telescope room, rising over the rest of the building, for the purpose of commanding an extensive view, is wisely employed as a crowning object, and gives that pyramidal form to the structure, which after all, is the soul and essence of the beautiful in every isolated architectural composition. Whilst giving to Mr. T Atkinson that praise which is so justly his due, we must not omit to state that the lithographic execution of the work reflects great credit upon Messrs. Day and Haghe.

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser Wednesday 4th September 1839

Broughton Observatory.—This project is, we are happy to find, progressing very rapidly. A number of the members of the provisional committee were, on Friday morning, honoured by an interview with Lord Francis Egerton, at the York Hotel. His lordship, with that liberality by which he has always been characterized, accepted the appointment of president. He made a donation of £100, and became a general subscriber. He also presented, for the library, some very valuable books connected with the science.


Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser Saturday 30th November 1839


This establishment under the patronage and presidency of Lord Francis Egerton, has been warmly countenanced and actively promoted by Sir J F W Herschel, and several eminent professors in the university of Cambridge, as well by a number of gentlemen of the highest respectability Manchester and the vicinity.

Books are now open for donations and subscriptions at the banks of Messrs. Jones, Loyd, and Co; Sir Benjamin Heywood Bart, and Messrs. Cunliffe, Brooks, and Co; Bank of Manchester: Commercial Bank of England; and at Mr Francis Abott’s , 50, Market-street. Manchester, where the plans may be inspected, and prospectuses obtained, JOHN DAVIES, Chairman of the Provisional Committee.  

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