The Refurbishment

The refurbishment of the observatory at the top of Cromwell Tower was begun in June 2000. This was no easy undertaking. There was a lot that had to be done before the observatory was in a suitable condition for use.

The first task was to empty the room entirely. This involved sifting through and clearing out hundreds of journals and papers left by previous users, moving old observational equipment, dismantling furnishings and removing curtains and screens left over from a few hours eclipse viewing in 1999. After this had been completed, and after the room had been cleaned up a bit, repairs and cosmetic improvements needed to be made. Contractors were called in to fix the roof and windows, lubricate the observing domes, repair problematic bits of plasterwork and strip down and repaint the walls, windows, domes and any other parts that needed it.

The LX200 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope arrived while the contractors were in the observatory. However, this didn't stop us setting it up "just to make sure it worked"! We quickly realised that magazine photographs don't convey the size of telescopes particularly well - the LX200 is surprisingly big!

Two shots of the observatory BEFORE refurbishment

The observatory AFTER refurbishment


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