The observatory, 1822-24 is the only major work by J C Mead. It has a Greek Doric tetrastyle centre with the observatory dome above.
Another building on the site is now the current home of the Institute of Astronomy.
Information on this location can be found on Wikipedia.
Prince Albert during his installation as chancellor in July invited himself at short notice to the observatory. Romilly’s editor notes (July 1847) that this is recorded in an unpublished letter by Mrs Challis. She and Challis left the celebration banquet and drove home, where, as the servants had gone off to see the fireworks, they had to make the place ready and light the rooms, and ‘just as the carriage drove up everything was ready and Professor with gown on and cap in hand was upon the steps to receive his Royal visitor and conduct him to the dome where he had the opportunity of seeing all the objects on interest that could be viewed through the large Telescope. The Prince appeared very much pleased, made some very sensible remarks and asked some very sensible questions.’
1848 (5th October): Josiah Chater and his brother William went to be shown round by Mr Todd. They viewed the recently discovered planet Neptune through the Northumberland telescope.
Sir Robert Stawell, professor of Astronomy and Director of Observatory
Arthur Robert Hinks, first assistant
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