The Gifford Observatory houses a 51/4" Zeiss refractor was initially set up in the early part of this century by Charles Gifford. Known affectionately as "Uncle Charlie", he was a teacher at Wellington College, a talented mathematician, photographer, naturalist and a dedicated astronomer.
A small group of people, with the co-operation and support of the Wellington
College Board of Trustees, has worked towards refurbishing and rebuilding
the previously derelict observatory in order to house the magnificent refractor.
Their aim was to re-establish a working observatory available to school and
community groups. Now complete, it is being used regularly by members of the
Wellington Astronomical Society for observing nights, and educational purposes.
The on-site phone number at the Gifford Observatory is (025) 209-3555, so
you can check if anyone is there and find out about the conditions. Please
note that this is a mobile phone, and regular charges for calling it apply.
The site is located centrally behind Wellington College Gymnasium. Keep going up - you will see the steps leading up to the observatory and to the path going over to Newtown.
For more information on the Gifford Observatory, it's continuing restoration and development, and the Gifford Observatory Trust, please visit the Gifford Observatory Home Page.
Gifford has a wikipedia article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gifford_Observatory
The Gifford Observatory is looking for both sponsors and members. If you are interested in helping in any way, please contact us.