World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Observatory, Bristol

Article Id: WHEBN0011035201
Reproduction Date:

Title: Observatory, Bristol  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Clifton, Bristol, Culture in Bristol, Grade II* listed buildings in Bristol, Bristol International Kite Festival, Mauretania Public House
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Observatory, Bristol

The Observatory
Observatory, Bristol is located in Bristol
Observatory, Bristol
Location within Bristol
General information
Town or city Bristol
Country England
Coordinates
Completed 1766

The Observatory (Iron Age.

The building was erected with the permission of the Society of Merchant Venturers, as a windmill for corn in 1766 and later converted to the grinding of snuff, when it became known as 'The Snuff Mill'. This was damaged by a fire on October 30, 1777, when the sails were left turning during a gale and caused the equipment to catch light. It was then derelict for 52 years until in 1828 William West, an artist, rented the old mill, for 5 shillings (25p) a year, as a studio.[1]

In 1977, the Merchant Venturers sold the observatory to Honorbrook Inns, however they were obliged to maintain public access to the camera obscura whose ownership was retained by the Merchant Venturers.[2]

It has been designated by English Heritage as a grade II* listed building[3] and is currently on the Buildings at Risk Register.[4]

Camera obscura

West installed telescopes and a Leigh Woods on the opposite side.[1] Many examples of these paintings can be seen in Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery. The pictures which originated from images within the camera obscura he called 'photogenic drawing'[5] and were based on the work of William Fox Talbot.

A 5" (13 cm) convex lens and sloping mirror were installed on the top of the tower; these project the panoramic view vertically downward into the darkened room below. Visitors view the true image (not a mirror image) on a fixed circular table 5 feet (1.5m) in diameter, with a concave metal surface, and turn the mirror by hand to change the direction of view.[6]

Cave

St Vincent's Cave.

West also built a tunnel from the Observatory to St Vincent's Cave (also known as Ghyston's Cave or Giant's Cave), which opens onto St Vincent's Rocks on the cliff face, 250 feet (76 m) above the floor of the Avon gorge and 90 feet (27 m) below the cliff top.[7] The tunnel which is 2,000 feet (610 m) long, took two years to build at a cost of £1300, and first opened to the public in 1837.[5]

This cave was first mentioned as being a chapel in the year A.D. 305 and excavations, in which Romano-British pottery has been found, have revealed that it has been both a holy place and a place of refuge at various times in its history. Although the cave is in limestone, there are few formations in the natural passages.[8]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Downs Management Plan 2006". Bristol City Council. Retrieved 2007-05-03. 
  2. ^ "Clifton Observatory". Images of England. Retrieved 2007-05-02. 
  3. ^ "Clifton Observatory". EH Buildings at Risk Register. Retrieved 2007-05-10. 
  4. ^ a b "Famous people of Clifton". Clifton Online. Retrieved 2007-05-03. 
  5. ^ "The Bristol Camera Oscura". Brighton and Hove Museums. Retrieved 2007-05-03. 
  6. ^ "Clifton Observatory". About Bristol. Retrieved 2007-05-03. 
  7. ^ "Giant's Cave". Show caves of Britain. Retrieved 2007-05-03. 

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.