Restoring the Townsend Telescope and Observatory

Posted 05 Mar 2015 by CanterburyUniversity Featured Popular
Posted in Heritage , Rebuild

A restoration project is underway to rebuild the Townsend Telescope and restore it to the Arts Centre.

For all the information you can visit

You can donate to the restoration of the Towsend Telescope via the Townsend Observatory Restoration Fund on the Alumni and Fundraising donation page.

The historic Townsend telescope, a 6-inch refractor made by Thomas Cooke and Sons of York, England in 1864, was recovered from the rubble of the Arts Centre tower which collapsed on February 22, 2011 in the earthquake.

The telescope is badly damaged but miraculously the objective lens was completely unscathed. The delicate gears of the clock drive and governor that drove the telescope in right ascension were also recovered and are not badly damaged. The telescope tube is not a pretty sight, but whole instrument can be restored. Also found in the rubble was the telescope log book in which the June 1996 event to mark the centenary of the telescope’s installation at the Canterbury University College was recorded with an attendance from many in the Department as well as by Sir Arnold Wolfendale, the UK Astronomer Royal of the time.

It is going to take approx 2000 hrs to repair and will be reinstalled back at the arts centre in the new tower they are planning to  start building next year. 

the youtube link is

the physics townsend webpage is

the donation page link is


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