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Historic England Research Records

The Old Royal Observatory

Hob Uid: 404339
Location :
Greater London Authority
Greenwich
Grid Ref : TQ3884077330
Summary : Original site of the Royal Observatory. Now part of the National Maritime Museum. Buildings constructed from 1675.
More information : [TQ 38847733] Royal Observatory [RP] (1)

Built on the site of the tower of GREENWICH CASTLE. First
stone was laid in August 1675. (2)

R. Observatory: Octagon room, 1675-6 (Attributed to Wren) (3)

This building now forms part of the National Maritime Museum and to distinguish it from the Royal Greenwich Observatory which has removed to Herstmonceux, Sussex, it is now called the Old Royal Observatory. (4)

[TQ 389773] Old Royal Observatory [NAT] (5)

The Royal Observatory was constructed on the site of Greenwich Castle (NAR. no TQ 37 NE 5) which was demolished to make way for construction. The original building, Flamsteed House (NAR no. TQ 37 NE 73) was constructed in 1675-6 by Christopher Wren, with later additions in 1772-3. The rest of the complex was constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries (NAR no. TQ 37 NE 73, 76-78) (6-7)

The Royal Observatory was moved to Hurstmonceux in 1948. The buildings became an annexe of the National Maritime Museum. In 1965 attempts were made to locate Flamsteed's Well, a shaft 100ft deep used for observation on the stars. It is shown on a 1676 engraving as partly brick-lined with a timber, spiral staircase. Excavations located a circular shalf 7-8 ft in diameter with the remains of a small building hexagonal in plan, capping the well. Most of the pottery dated from the 18th century. (8)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1938 A
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Old and New London
Page(s) : 213
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 6, 1897
Source Number : 3
Source : Annotated Record Map
Source details : Corr 6" (E. Birchenough 1.3.60)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3a
Source : London, 2 : South
Source details :
Page(s) : 151
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Letter (E.A. Philip, Estabs Officer, National Maritime Museum, 6.9.1961)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Source Number : 5
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:1250 1971
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : London, 2 : South
Source details :
Page(s) : 265-6
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : An inventory of the historical monuments in London. Vol.V: east London
Source details :
Page(s) : 30-Jan
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : Kent archaeological review
Source details : F Wilmot
Page(s) : 19-21
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 16, May 1969
Source Number :
Source : Greenwich: an architectural history of the Royal Hospital for Seamen and the Queen's Housei
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : 1675-1948
Monument End Date : 1899
Monument Start Date : 1675
Monument Type : Observatory
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : 1675-1948
Monument End Date : 1948
Monument Start Date : 1900
Monument Type : Observatory
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date :
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 1960
Monument Type : Museum
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : LO 51
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Greater London)
External Cross Reference Number : 70270
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 82423
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 200387
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 200388
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 200389
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 200390
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 200368
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 37 NE 17
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 610921
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 610926
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 610929
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 404327
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1169826
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 610921
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 610926
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 610929
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 610933
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 662293
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : FLAMSTEED'S WELL, ROYAL OBSERVATORY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1965-01-01
End Date : 1967-12-31
Associated Activities : RCHME: GREENWICH PROJECT
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1998-12-31
Associated Activities : OLD ROYAL OBSERVATORY, GREENWICH PARK
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 1999-12-31
Associated Activities : OLD ROYAL OBSERVATORY, GREENWICH PARK, BLACKHEATH AVENUE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2002-12-31
Associated Activities : OLD ROYAL OBSERVATORY, GREENWICH PARK
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2005-01-01
End Date : 2005-12-31
Associated Activities : OLD ROYAL OBSERVATORY, GREENWICH PARK
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2010-01-01
End Date : 2010-12-31