Historical photographs of the Observatory

with emphasis on the meteorological instruments

Click on an image for a larger version

A view looking north across the North Lawn of the Observatory, believed taken in 1881. At the bottom of the photograph we see the met. enclosure with the square raingauge (S2) on the right.

A photograph of the Observatory buildings, taken from the south in 1882. It shows: (1) the Robinson Cup-Anemometer made by Munroe at the western end of the roof of the main building; (2) the Campbell-Stokes Bright Sunshine Recorder mounted on a platform at the eastern end of the roof of the main building; and (3) a part of the Meteorological Building erected by the Board of Trade, seen through the trees at the extreme eastern end of the photograph. The shutters on the Mural Circle Room and East Dome are open.

A photograph believed to have been taken in 1883 which shows the north face of the Observatory buildings. In the foreground we see the met. enclosure on the North Lawn containing the Square Rain Guage (S2) and the Beckley Automatic Raingauge (Kew). On the roof of the main building we see the Robinson Cup Anemometer by Munroe with its recording apparatus, to the right, and the Campbell-Stokes Sunshine recorder to the left. Attached to the north window of the East Tower we see the metal box that contained the thermometers and behind the East Tower we see a part of the housing of the automatic thermograph by Beckley. (print courtesy of P. Corvan)

In this photogragh taken in 1883, we can see the anemometer on the roof of the main building. The sunshine tower had been moved to the south lawn the same year. In the Met. encosure we see the square raingauge (S2) on the right and the Beckley Kew Automatic Raingauge to the left. (photo from Lawrence Collection, National Library, Dublin, courtesy of P. Corvan)

A photograph of the Robinson Cup Anemometer by Munroe, mounted on top of a small hut which contained the recording apparatus. The hut was built on the flat part of the roof of the main building. (c. 1883)

This photograph taken in the 1930s from near the Armstrong School shows the cup anemometer on the roof of the main building and the sunshine tower between the Robinson and the Calver Telescope Domes (photo courtesy of P. Corvan).

This photograph taken in 1930s from the field to the south of the Observatory shows the south elevation of the Buildings with the Robinson Dome at mid-left and the Calver Dome extreme left. Between the two domes we see the sunshine recorder. In the centre we see a small Stevenson Screen containing the thermometers and behind the trees to the right of the picture we see the roof of the Met. Building.

Aerial view of the Observatory taken in 1932, showing the Stevenson Screen beside the Robinson Dome and 8-inch rain gauge to the right. The sunshine tower is obscured by the the Calver Telescope dome. This picture clearly shows the Met. Building on the South of the East Tower. This building was demolished in 1953.

In this photogragh taken in 1946, we can see the anemometer in the roof of the main building. The met. station had been removed from the North Lawn. On the Sector Tower, left of centre, there is a radio ariel erected by Ellison to receive time signals from Paris and Loughborough.

In this photogragh taken in 1947, we see the sunshine tower on the extreme left, and the Stevenson screen, the 8-inch raingauge and two tubes for the soil temperatures in the center of the picture. The Met. Building is on the extreme right.

From the Ellison family collection. Photo by AD Cook, LLB, Moira. The met station is in the foreground and the Board of Trade met building is at right centre.

From the Ellison family collection.

8.5 inch reflector built for Senor Ivan Christiansen, Buenos Aires. Erected on the South Terrace previous to dispatch.

The Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Lord Craigavon, and Sir Dawson Bates being welcomed to the Observatory by WFA Ellison.

Ellison shows the Robinson anemometer to the Prime Minister on the roof of the Observatory house.

Inspecting the Shorts' Reflecting Telescope on the South Terrace.

A higher elevation photo of the field to the south of the Observatory, taken around 1948, showing the sunshine tower at the extreme left, the Robinson Dome, the Stevenson Screen and a group of raingauges roughly in the centre of the picture. The south face of the Met. Building is clearly visible on the right.

A view of the Observatory from the south, taken in 1950. It features the Robinson Dome left of centre and the Steveson Screen to the right. Further again to the right can be seen the Beckley Automatic Raingauge (Kew) and the Met. Building. (courtesy of P. Corvan)

This photograph from the 1950s shows the Stevenson screen and the 5-inch raingauge behind it close to the path. The tubes containing the soil thermometers are obscured by the raingauge. The sunshine tower has been removed, but the staircase left in front of the Robinson dome. The Dome that previously housed the Calver Telescope has been demolished and a new dome built to the right which now houses a Schmidt Telescope constructed from the parts of the Old Calver Telescope. (photo courtesy of P. Corvan)

An aerial view of Armagh Observatory taken in 1983, showing the Stevenson Screen beside the Robinson Dome and the rain gauges between the Screen and the Library Building. (From the John McConnell Collection)

This photograph, taken from the sunshine tower in 1983 shows the Stevenson screen and the 8-inch raingauge behind it close to the path. The tubes containing the soil thermometers are 5 feet from the path and are just visible in the grass. The old sunshine tower is still in front of the Robinson Dome. The cup anemometer has been moved to the roof of the Sector Tower (phot. courtesy of P. Corvan)

This picture shows the position of the sunshine tower in 1983 with the Planetarium in the background. In 1988 the remaining met. instruments were moved to this location. (From the John McConnell Collection)

The picture shows the station in 1999. You can see the new sunshine tower to the right and the old sunshine tower (removed later that year) to the left. The Stevenson Screen and raingauge are visible. Also shown is the fence erected that year after the sunshine ball was stolen twice.

The sunshine recorder in 2005. The post to right of centre holds the anemometor and sunshine recorder of the automatic weather station.

See also: The Ellison family photograph collection

Last Revised: 2011 August 26th