York Observatory was built in 1833, with the refractor telescope added in 1850 by Thomas Cooke.
There is also a clock sited at the Observatory which was originally constructed in 1811, and which was donated by Dr. Pearson, the Vice President of the Royal Astronomical Society.
The Observatory was frequently in the national press in the mid nineteenth century when it offered good vision of various astronomical features. In 1861 the Observatory’s 4.5 inch glass telescope was used to watch a comet which had “an extraordinary appearance”. Mr TS Noble, the secretary of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society said, “the nucleus was most brilliant, of a yellow light, surpassing Jupiter in intensity”.
The Observatory is sited at the Museum Gardens and can be visited by the public, which are currently held every Thursday and Saturday from 11.30 until 14.30.