Sir Jonas Moore presented the idea of building Royal Observatory to King Charles II in 1674 . Finally construction of Royal Observatory started in 1675 after Moore was given that responsibility by King Charles II. The first building of Observatory, Flamsteed House, was designed by Sir Christopher Wren along with Robert Hooke and it became the first scientific research facility in Britain.
Royal Observatory was initially used to keep scientific instruments which Flamsteed utilized to work on Stellar tables. Later on, numerous other things/tasks were also included; such as Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office and time keeping for navigational and astronomical reasons.
In 1850, Royal Observatory established Prime Meridian and became the basis for measurement of longitude, the Greenwich Mean Time. There was previously no standard base for time dimension and every town used its own local time. However, with the expansion of railway and communication networks in 1884, Greenwich Meridian started being considered a Prime Meridian of the World.
After World War II in 1947, the decision was taken to move Royal Observatory to Herstmonceux Castle. After the location of Royal Observatory changed, the ownership of Flamsteed House was transferred to the National Maritime Museum in 1960. Later, several renovations took place over the next seven years. With the passage of time, scientific research collections grew and then in 1998, Royal Greenwich Observatory was relocated to Cambridge and the site became known as the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Major refurbishment programs took place in 2005 at the Royal Observatory Greenwich in which Planetarium, astronomy and time galleries and an education centre were constructed and in 2007, it finally opened up for the public and visitors.
Things to See At Royal Observatory Greenwich
- Astronomy Centre
- Meridian Courtyard
- Meridian Line
- 28-inch largest refracting telescope
- Harrison timekeepers
- Time Ball
- Neptune Court
- Great Hall & Tulip Stairs
- Flamsteed House
Tickets and Entry Requirements
Royal Observatory Greenwich has different admission requirements for visitors to visit its major sites and to see exhibitions. So if you want to know the exact details of tickets and entrance charges, then you can visit this link.
Royal Observatory Greenwich opens during 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and the last entry is allowed 30 minutes before closing.
How to Contact:
The information line of Royal Observatory Greenwich remains open for 24 hours a day for customer assistance and you can contact them on the number listed below:
Contact: +44 20 8858 4422 / +44 181 858 4422
Blackheath Avenue, London, Greenwich, Greater London SE10 8XJ, United Kingdom.
How to Get there:
By Light Rail:
Cutty Sark is the nearest light rail to the Royal Observatory Greenwich because it is just 0.7 miles away from Royal Observatory Greenwich and by walk 15 minutes are required to cover this distance. On leaving from the light rail move in the east direction on Creek Road towards Bardsley Lane then, turn right on Greenwich Church Street. Later on take a left turn on Nelson Road and turn right on King William Walk from there. Subsequently take a left turn to reach on the right turn and Royal Observatory Greenwich will be in front of you. Directions from Cutty Sark light rail to Royal Observatory Greenwich.
Greenwich, National Maritime Museum (Stop F) is the closest bus stop and just 0.6 miles away from Royal Observatory Greenwich and this journey can be covered within 12 minutes . On leaving the bus stop move in the southwest direction on Romney Road towards King William Walk to reach left turn on King William Walk. Afterwards take a left turn then turn right and you will find Royal Observatory Greenwich in your front. Directions from Greenwich, National Maritime Museum (Stop F) to the Royal Observatory Greenwich.