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A modern office block, also called Observatory House, now stands at the corner of Herschel Street and Windsor Road in Slough on the site where the demolished building once stood.

Observatory House was an observatory in Slough, England. It was built, run and used by the astronomer William Herschel, and his sister Caroline. The famous '40-foot telescope' - at that time the largest in the world - was housed there in the late 18th century and early 19th century.[1]

The main house was on Windsor Road. There was also a small cottage on the land. Herschel moved there on 3 April 1786. John Herschel was born in the house, and William died there on 25 August 1822.[2] John Herschel and his family moved out of the house to Hawkhurst in 1840.[3] Observatory House was later demolished. There is a poignant section of one of the early programmes by Sir Patrick Moore on BBC "The Sky at Night", which was aired in 1960. He talks about the discovery of the planet Uranus by Herschel and how Patrick Moore visited the house, "now empty and likely to be demolished." In the garage is a section of the 40 ft telescope still sitting and Patrick shows photos of it. All of which are now gone.

A monument to Herschel was erected in 1969 outside Observatory House on Herschel Street, close to where the 40-foot telescope was located. It was designed by the Czech sculptor Franta Belsky.[2][4]


  1. ^ "Observatory House". Encyclopædia Britannica. 27 November 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Slough Borough Council: Sir William Herschel". Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 28 November 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ Steavenson, W. H. (April 1927). "Herschel's first 40-foot speculum". The Observatory. 50: 114–118. Bibcode:1927Obs....50..114S.
  4. ^ "Papers of Franta Belsky". JISC Archives Hub. Henry Moore Institute Archive. Retrieved 13 August 2019.

Coordinates: 51°30′30″N 0°35′43″W / 51.5082°N 0.5954°W / 51.5082; -0.5954