The King’s Observatory, a Palladian style building commissioned by King George III as an observatory for the transit of Venus is for the first time ever letting the public inside.
The Observatory, just outside Richmond town centre passed from royal hands in 1840 when it was taken over by the British Association for the advancement of Science. From 1910 to 1980, the Observatory was the home of the Meteorological Office. Instruments were sent from all over the country to be tested and from 1878 were branded with the coveted “KO” stamp.
The Observatory was eventually handed back to the Crown Estate Commissioners in 1981 and reverted to its name of the King’s Observatory. The tenant of the building for 25 years to March, 2011 was Autoglass who used the building as their head office. It is now a private home.
For the first time ever*, the King’s Observatory is opening to the public for a limited period of time.
The tours will take place during March 2019. Tours will last for 45 minutes and will be available at various time slots times throughout selected weekdays. All tours will be guided in groups of a maximum of 10 people.
The cost is £15 for adults and £7.50 for concessions. Concessions prices are available for those aged over 65, those aged under 16 and full time students.
To book tickets, go here.
*Someone will tell me it was open in the past, but not in recent memory.