The George Rodger photographs from the Life Photo Collection (September 1946)

In April 1946, it was announced that the Observatory would be moving to Herstmonceux. By the following September, George Rodger from Life had secured permission from the Observatory to visit and photograph not only the two existing sites at Greenwich and Abinger but also the site at Herstmonceux (which at that point had still to be formally acquired).

The images can be viewed on the Google Arts and Culture, Royal Observatory Greenwich page. At the time of writing (October 2021) the page held 81 images of which 74 were by George Rodger. The images are numbered, but uncatalogued. The serial numbers run from 115869915 to 115869988 with images from the three sites in non-sequential order. The spreadsheet below gives more detail on each image.

Click here for just the Rodger images (unsorted by either site of serial number).

Click on the links below for individual images.

ID (Life) 
Observatory site
Description
115869915 Greenwich Osler Anemometer on western turret on the roof of Flamsteed House
115869916 Abinger Time Department Control Desk
115869917 Greenwich Observer at the eye-end of  Small Reversible Transit Telescope B in the Altazimuth Pavilion
115869918 Abinger Building containing the Time desk, clock cellars and flat of the Officer-in-Charge of the Time Department (Humphry Smith)
115869919 Greenwich Members of the public viewing the Public Barometer on the Observatory boundary wall adjacent to the gates into the courtyard
115869920 Abinger Time Department Control Room 
115869921 Greenwich Yapp Dome in the Christie Enclosure
115869922 Abinger Entrance to the Observatory site with the caretakers' house on the left
115869923 Herstmonceux Herstmonceux Castle: view from the top of the Gatehouse tower looking south over the moat towards the Astronomer Royal's car and some of the hutments scheduled to be converted into offices for HM Nautical Almanac Office (foreground), workshops, other offices, store-rooms and a hostel for the male staff
115869924 Greenwich Dent 2016 (clock) in the Rugby Room in the Eastern Summerhouse
115869925 Greenwich Rugby Room? (in the Eastern Summerhouse)
115869926 Abinger John Pope
115869927 Herstmonceux Herstmonceux Castle: view from the top of the Gatehouse tower looking north-east
115869928 Abinger Time Department Control Desk
115869929 Abinger Time Department Control Desk
115869930 Herstmonceux Herstmonceux Castle from the south
115869931 Greenwich Yapp Telescope in the Christie Enclosure
115869932 Herstmonceux Herstmonceux Castle: moat and Gatehouse tower from the south
115869933 Herstmonceux Herstmonceux Castle: view from the top of the Gatehouse tower looking north-north-east
115869934 Greenwich Philibert Mellotte in the New Physical Building
115869935 Abinger Magnetic observatory with the Absolute Instruments Pavilion centre and a store hut on the left
115869936 Greenwich Ancient instruments mounted on the walls of the room housing the Airy Transit Circle
115869937 Greenwich New Physical Building.  Magnetic Office? (from left to right Miss J. Mounteney?, D. Oliver, George Wells )
115869938 Greenwich Philibert Mellotte in the New Physical Building
115869939 Greenwich Two observers at the {{1072|Cooke Reversible Transit Instrument}} in the Christie Enclosure
115869940 Abinger Checking the battery acid in the Battery Room
115869941 Greenwich View towards Greenwich Power Station from the roof of Flamsteed House with the Time-Ball  on the right
115869942 Greenwich Chief Assistant Robert Atkinson in his office in the New Physical Building
115869943 Greenwich Airy Transit Circle. The telescope is pointing vertically downwards and the observer is checking the level of the instrument by making an observation by reflection using the Bohnenberger’s eyepiece 
115869944 Greenwich Viewing the length standards next to the public barometer on the Observatory boundary wall adjacent to the gates into the courtyard. 
115869945 Greenwich Observer at the eye-end of the Airy Transit Circle
115869946 Greenwich William Witchell checking the anemometer trace
115869947 Greenwich Altazimuth Building. Showing wartime structural damage to the south portico and the re-covered dome (painted silver using aluminium paint)
115869948 Greenwich Harold Spencer Jones, Astronomer Royal, standing next to the sundial  in the lower garden with the Great Equatorial Building behind
115869949 Greenwich View towards Greenwich Power Station from the roof of Flamsteed House with the Time-Ball  on the right
115869950 Greenwich Astronomer Royal in garden to south of Flamsteed House
115869951 Greenwich View towards London from the roof of Flamsteed House with the Osler Anemometer on western turret to the right
115869952 Greenwich S. Medland (left) and unidentified (right) making adjustments to the Shepherd Gate Clock in the Observatory workshop prior to its reinstallation 
115869953 Greenwich View looking north from the New Physical Building with the Great Equatorial Building (left), the Altazimuth Pavilion (centre) and Airy's New Library (right)
115869954 Greenwich Great Equatorial Building from the west, with the Meridian Building to the  left
115869955 Greenwich Entrance from the courtyard to the Meridian Building (north-west corner)
115869956 Greenwich Chronograph Drum
115869957 Greenwich Mural Arc by Abraham Sharp
115869958 Greenwich Yapp Telescope in the Christie Enclosure
115869959 Abinger Time Department Control Desk
115869960 Greenwich Harold Spencer Jones, Astronomer Royal, examining the sundial  in the lower garden
115869961 Greenwich Looking southwards towards an observer at the eye-end of  Small Reversible Transit Telescope B  in the Altazimuth Pavilion
115869962 Greenwich? Harold Spencer Jones, Astronomer Royal
115869963 Greenwich Christie Enclosure, Cooke Reversible Transit Circle in the with Richard Thomas Cullen at the eyepiece
115869964 Greenwich Standing astride the Greenwich Meridian where it is marked on the path in the park immediately to the north of the Observatory
115869965 Abinger Humphry Smith? at the Transit Hut
115869966 Greenwich Flamsteed House: Dedication Plaque (from the 1670s) and damaged porch (erected by Airy) over the original front door
115869967 Greenwich New Physical Building (South Building) from the west, showing damage to the dome and the spectroheliograph protruding from the upper floor of the south wing
115869968 Abinger Regulators (clocks) of the Greenwich Time Service in the Clock Cellar. Three Synchronome slave clocks and Dent 2012 (third from left)
115869969 Greenwich Distant view of the Observatory from the north-east
115869970 Abinger Control desk of the time Department
115869971 Greenwich Clock cellars, Flamsteed House. Shortt Free Pendulum Clock 67 (master) . Set up the previous year, it contolled Dent 2016, a regulator located in the Rugby Room in the Eastern Summerhouse which was used to provide a reserve service of six-pip time signals for the BBC and hourly signals for the Post Office.  
115869972 Greenwich Viewing the Public Barometer on the Observatory boundary wall adjacent to the gates into the courtyard
115869973 Greenwich Tape chronograph in the Altazimuth Dome housing Small Reversible Transit Telescope B made in 1870  by Troughton & Simms and recently set up for time observations
115869974 Abinger John Pope in the Time Department Control Room 
115869975 Greenwich Chief Assistant Robert Atkinson in his office in the New Physical Building
115869976 Greenwich Copy of the text of the warrant for the payment of Flamsteed's salary. Mounted and resting on an unidentified external windowsill
115869977 Greenwich Philibert Mellotte in the New Physical Building
115869978 Greenwich View towards the Meridian Building  from the roof of Flamsteed House with the Great Equatorial dome (left) and the Astrographic dome (right). Note the wartime camouflage paint
115869979 Greenwich Distant view of the Observatory from the north-east
115869980 Greenwich Great Equatorial Building from the Lower Garden
115869981 Greenwich At work measuring a solar plate in a plate measuring machine in the New Physical Building. Philip Laurie (left) and Harold Barton (right)
115869982 Greenwich Flamsteed House from the Courtyard. Astronomer Royal's car in the foreground
115869983 Greenwich Great Equatorial Building from the east, with the Gatehouse on the right
115869984 Herstmonceux Herstmonceux Castle: the Tower Bedroom at the top of the Gatehouse Tower
115869985 Greenwich View towards Royal Naval College and Queen's House from the roof of Flamsteed House with the Osler Anemometer on western turret on the left
115869986 Greenwich The workshop in the basement of the New Physical Building
115869987 Greenwich View towards Greenwich Power Station from the roof of Flamsteed House with the Time-Ball  on the eastern turret on the right
115869988 Greenwich View towards Royal Naval College and Queen's House from the roof of Flamsteed House with the Osler Anemometer on western turret on the left