URL: http://tobin.fr/HoS.html

History of Science documents


The Townsend Telescope is a 6-inch Cooke refractor built in 1864. Its owner James Townsend gifted the Telescope to Canterbury College c.1891. In 1896 it was installed in a newly-built tower in what was then the University site in central Christchurch, but is now the Arts Centre. In 1996 a book Stars in a Cluster was published to celebrate the centenary of this installation, and also the first decade of the 1m McLellan reflector at the University of Canterbury's Mount John University Observatory.

The Townsend Tower was cracked in the Christchurch-Darfield earthquake on 2010 September 4. Work was underway to stabilise the Tower and gain access to the Telescope when both Tower and Telescope fell in the Christchurch-Lyttelton earthquake on 2011 February 22. The tube was squashed and the cast-iron declination axle was fractured, but the RA and DEC setting wheels are only burred and, most astonishing of all, the objective survived intact. Restoration is now underway.



William @ bitbucket.tobin.fr (Edit out spaces and "bitbucket.", which have been added to fool web crawlers.)

Revised: 2016 September 05