Building record MYO1076 - OBSERVATORY


Observatory situated within the Museum Gardens, York. The building was constructed in 1832-3 to house instruments offered to the Yorkshire Philosophical Society by Dr Pearson, rector of South Kilworth, Leicestershire. It is a two storey building, octagonal on plan, constructed of Magnesian limestone ashlar with a pyramidal, revolving, lead-covered roof. The roof was designed by John Smeaton. The telescope was designed and built by Thomas Cooke. A restoration of the building took place in 1981.


Grid reference SE 5993 5206 (point)
Map sheet SE55SE
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire
Civil Parish York, City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

Observatory. 1832-33, restored 1981. Telescope designed and built by Thomas Cooke of York, rotating conical roof designed by John Smeaton, for the Yorkshire Philosophical Society. Magnesian limestone ashlar with lead roof. PLAN: octagonal on shallow plinth. EXTERIOR: basement and 2 storeys, lower storey with moulded cornice, upper storey set back. Door is of 4 flush panels. Each alternate face on ground floor has 12-pane sash window with slender glazing bars. Upper storey has 2-light casement windows. Openings are chamfered. INTERIOR: not inspected. HISTORICAL NOTE: the observatory was built following the inaugural meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1831, restored and refitted in 1981 to mark the Association's 150th anniversary. For many years, the telescope it housed was the largest refracting telescope in the world. (An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of York: RCHME: Outside the City Walls East of the Ouse: HMSO London: 1975-: 45).
Listing NGR: SE6049052070

Derived from English Heritage LB download dated: 22/08/2005

NMR Information:

No further description provided.

Architectural Survey
14-NOV-1995 - 14-NOV-1995

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Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (4)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Aug 19 2019 11:57AM


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