A building in the middle of a Richmond golf club that was built for King George III to observe an astronomical event will be open later this 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 then oddly, a company office.
The King’s Observatory is today a private home, having been lavishly restored by the Scottish born, Hong Kong based businessman, Robbie 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 Monday to Friday from 27th September to 18th November 2021.
The tours cost £15 per person (£10 for over 60s) and last around an hour.
You can book tickets here.
As a private home and also due to covid a few things to note — you must wear a face mask on your visit which you need to bring, and disposable shoe covers will be provided — so best to wear flat shoes.
The King’s Observatory is about a 15-minute walk from Richmond railway station.
My review from a previous visit is here.