Dorking Local History Group Lecture: 4 July 2022


The Royal Observatory at Abinger

This page is intended to support a lecture given by Graham Dolan to theDorking Local History Group at Crossways Community Baptist Church, Dorking, on 4 July 2022.






Abinger Magnetic Observatory (1923–1957)

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

The Cecil Beaton photographs (1945)

The Magnetic Observatory at Greenwich (1817–1926)

Hartland Magnetic Observatory (1955–1967)

The staff of the Magnetical and Meteorological Observatory (1840–1967)

The Shortt ‘free-pendulum’ clocks

The Dent Clocks

Extracts from the Reports of the Astronomer Royal relating to the Time Service (1912–1964)

Bamberg Broken Transit Telescope (for finding the time)

Small Transit Telescopes (used for finding the time)


Circular walk passing the site of the Magnetic Observatory at Abinger

This link below is for use with the Ordnance Survey App:

Total distance: 10km

Total assent:    263m

Royal Observatory Abinger, circular walk

Starting and ending at Friday Street, this walk follows the boundary on the northern and western sides of the site, passing the two northern boundary markers (marked three and four) in the process (the dog-leg at Sewer’s Copse). The route later passes the north-eastern boundary of the site originally selected for the Observatory on Holmbury Hill (just above the words Hurt Wood). It also passes the building once known as Feldemore (but now known as Belmont School), which was used as a staff hostel between 1949 and 1957. The route passes thee pubs (though only one of these was trading in May 2022).