A grand building in Richmond built for King George III to observe a rare astronomical event will be open next month for tours.

The large square building with a telescope observatory dome on top was built to watch the 1769 Transit of Venus, an event which had seen Captain James Cook sent to the other side of the world to observe it from a better location, while at the same time nabbing a few continents for the crown.

It later became a government building, and oddly, a company office. The King’s Observatory is today a private home, having been lavishly restored by the businessman, Robert Brothers a few years ago.

He also occasionally opens the building to the public to see inside at both the restoration and to climb up to the telescope dome on top — and the next tour dates have been announced.

The King’s Observatory will again be open to the public on Mondays to Fridays from 21st August to 28th September 2023.

Tours cost £17.50 per adult or £12.50 for senior citizens (over 60yrs) and children 8 – 16yrs.

You can book tickets here.

My review from a previous visit is here.

As a private home, disposable shoe covers will be provided — so best to wear flat shoes.

The King’s Observatory is about a 15-minute walk from Richmond station.


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