Amateur Astronomy


15 inch Stonyhurst Refractor

Its original, and current, home built in 1866, Lancashire, England.

The historic Stonyhurst Refractor is currently being resurrected at its home in Lancashire, England by members of the Bolton Astro- nomical Society.

The telescope dates from the 1890s, the mount from the 1860s, when Stonyhurst was a premier observatory. However, after many years of use it was neglected and slowly sank into dereliction after the Second World War. It was sold but was never restored by its new owner who eventually offered it for sale. Fortunately it was re-purchased by Stonyhurst College and returned to its rightful home where is currently being repaired.

An initial report states, “The views of the Moon were brilliant with a steady image that only a refractor can deliver. There was quite a bit of violet fringing but nothing to worry about. The telescope is only f/12 so is not fully corrected, but, for its intended use as a visual telescope this is not an issue.”


A 9-1/2″ inch Zeiss telescope mounted more than two decades on the roof of the car of Whittier amateur astron- omer, Ed Turner (1933).

“For it is true that astronomy, from a popular standpoint, is handicapped by the inability of the average workman to own an expensive astronomical telescope. It is also true that if an amateur starts out to build a telescope just for fun he will find, before his labors are over, that he has become seriously interested in the wonderful mechanism of our universe. And finally there is understandably the stimulus of being able to unlock the mysteries of the heavens by a tool fashioned by one’s own hand.”

Russell W. Porter, March 1923 Founder of Stellafane