Heritage Open Days observatory tours

11/9/2015 – Please note, the Saturday tour is now fully booked.

There are still a few spaces left on the observatory tours this weekend – email Jenny.Orwin@boothamschool.com to book a place. The tours take place on Saturday and Sunday at 12.45pm, meeting in the Recital Room, access via the front door of 45 Bootham. Tours must be pre-booked as places are limited. Full details, as well as listings of other events in York, on the Heritage Open Days website.

PH.03.003.006b 1900s scrapbook page 6 Telescope in Observatory c1905

Heritage Open Days

11/9/15 – Please note, the Saturday tour is now fully booked.

Once again we are running tours of the observatory for Heritage Open Days 2015. There will be one tour on Saturday 12th September and one on Sunday 13th September, both starting at 12.45pm. Click here for full details. Tours must be booked in advance with Jenny Orwin (Jenny.Orwin@boothamschool.com).

Bootham School Observatory

Solar Eclipse

As it’s the eclipse this week, I found two accounts of the solar eclipse of June 29th 1927 in ‘Bootham’ magazine.

Two boys travelled to Giggleswick, partly because a group of astronomers from Greenwich Observatory would be there – they were “lucky enough to be able to help the Astronomer Royal’s party to move their camera”. There were quite a few clouds, but the clouds parted with two minutes to spare. “Suddenly the darkness swept over us, and as we turned towards the sun we saw the black disc surrounded by the corona, which was shown up like ‘bright metal on a sullen ground’ by the dark blue sky behind it. All our instructions were forgotten in that wonderful moment. Ignoring all scientific details, we just gazed at the beauty of the corona, until the rim of beads flashed out a bright white, telling us that totality was over. O.C.R.”

Another group got up at 2am and travelled to Wensleydale, to view the eclipse from Middleham Moor. They weren’t as lucky as the Giggleswick group – they saw glimpses of a partial eclipse, but clouds hid the sun at the moment of totality. “The moor was crowded with spectators, but all was quiet during those twenty seconds; then the light swept across the countryside, and conversation started again. A few minutes later a rift appeared in the clouds and we saw again the partially eclipsed sun…. K.F.N.”

Heritage Open Days

We’re running tours of the observatory on Saturday 13th September and Sunday 14th September as part of Heritage Open Days this year.¬†Bootham School has had an observatory and encouraged young astronomers for over 160 years.¬†Come and explore the current observatory, which was opened in 1902.

Bootham School Observatory


You can find all the details on the Heritage Open Days website, along with other local events. Tours must be pre-booked.