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Collective, City Observatory, Calton Hill

New
Door open days

28 September 2019 (10:00 - 17:00)

29 September 2019 (10:00 - 17:00)

Edinburgh

The iconic City Observatory on Calton Hill, designed by William Playfair in 1818, was restored and re-opened in 2018 as part of Collective, a new centre for contemporary art. Calton Hill was the birthplace of astronomy and time-keeping in Edinburgh and the City Observatory houses two telescopes, a Fraunhofer-Repsold transit telescope (1831) and, upstairs in the McEwan Dome, a 6 inch astronomical observatory refracting telescope, made by T Cooke, York, in 1896 and not ordinarily open to the public.

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS

Celestial observations made at the City Observatory were used to track accurate time. By providing a timekeeping service which eventually led to the One O Clock time-ball on the nearby Nelson Monument, the Observatory directly contributed to the global expansion of trade and empire through Scotland’s maritime fleet. By setting their ship’s chronometers accurately, sailors were for the first time able to accurately plot their position at sea. 

ACTIVITIES

Tours of the City Observatory, including the Cooke telescope in the McEwan Dome upstairs, which is normally closed to the public. 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00. Tours will last around 30 minutes and there is no need to book - just drop in.

Facilities

Key Information

Tours of the City Observatory, including the Cooke telescope in the McEwan Dome upstairs, which is normally closed to the public. 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00. Tours will last around 30 minutes and there is no need to book - just drop in.

Where to find us

Address
  • 38 Calton Hill
  • Edinburgh
  • EH7 5AA