Pex Hill Observatory: 1994 – 1999

Large LAS colour logo on white background, circa 1999

The Leighton Observatory at Pex Hill, Cronton

Pex Hill Observatory & Visitor Centre

Dr. Patrick Moore C.B.E. officially opens the Observatory at Pex Hill, Sunday 20th March 1994

Dr. Patrick Moore C.B.E. officially opens the Observatory at Pex Hill, Sunday 20th March 1994

Knowsley Countryside Ranger Service (KCB Parks) logo, circa 1999

Operated in conjunction with the Knowsley Countryside Ranger Service

Liverpool Astronomical Society logo (colour, pre-gradient, c.1999)

Liverpool Astronomical Society
Over 100 Years of Astronomy on Merseyside

North West Water logo, circa 1999

With thanks to North West Water plc.

The Liverpool Astronomical Society Observatory Pex Hill, Cronton, Knowsley

The First Five Years 1994 ~ 1999

The Observatory project came about following the generous donation of a large telescope to the Society by the then Patron the late Mr J.R.Platt. The Society quickly began the tesk of raising money for the project and initiated a search for a suitable site. As a response to the project the Society instigated its series of Croxteth Hall & Park Public Star Party Weekends.

The return of Comet Halley in 1985-86 provided a golden opportunity both to promote astronomy and raise funds for the proposed observatory.

An appeal to the membership and other fund raising events soon boosted the observatory account.

The 16" Robertson Newtonian Reflecting Telescope, at Pex Hill

The 16″ Robertson Newtonian Reflecting Telescope, at Pex Hill

Many problems and delays were encountered in finding a suitable site, until the present site was obtained. On hearing the news of the opening of the observatory, a suitable dome was ordered and thoughts once again turned to raising sufficient funds to operate the telescope in its first year. The Observatory at Pex Hill now houses a large 16inch Newtonian reflecting telescope, which was a gift to the Society by Mr A.Robertson of the Isle of Man.

The telescope had been in storage for some years and has undergone a partial restoration, including mirror recoating, with the help of what was Scope City, prior to its installation. An Appeal to the membership and a generous donation from The Ford of Britain Trust has ensured that the telescope will be extremely well equipped for visual work. The Society’s publications and the Newsletter have raised a considerable sum towards the cost of the dome and equipping the Observatory. For the next five years, restoration of the dome and improvements to the telescope mount are underway, and a recent upgrade to the observatory computer has been made, with the view to perhaps install a telescope robotic system at a later date

Soon however the plan is to replace the 16-inch as the main observatory telescope with a 10-inch or 12-inch Meade LX2000.Testing will be carried out with a CCD camera and a members Meade 8-inch telescope on the new pillar extension which was recently fitted to the observatory by members David Galvin and Steve Southern.

The opening of the observatory brings about new opportunities for the Society, but its aims remain the same as they were when the Liverpool Astronomical Society was formed in 1881:-

“To promote the science of Astronomy primarily in  Liverpool and the area thereof.”

Held on Saturday MARCH 20th 1999

Old route map for Pex Hill

Directions to the Pex Hill Observatory

The Observatory is managed by Liverpool Astronomical Society in conjunction with Knowsley Countryside Ranger Service and North West Water PLC. The Observatory is for use by Society members only, however, should you wish to book any individual or group visits to the observatory then please contact:-

The Director of the Liverpool A.S. Observatories
(Contact details removed as no longer valid)
For More information regarding the Pex Hill Visitor Centre, public events, school/group bookings for guided walks and events in the environmental classroom, please contact: (Contact details removed as no longer valid)