The Astronomy Centre was founded in 1982 with private financial investment. Its three fold purposes:- to be a centre of astronomical excellence ( with emphasis on the practical  ), stimulate interest in astronomy and to inform the general public.

The Centre is run by its founder, Peter Drew, with the support of a core group of volunteers. The Observatory is staffed by amateur astronomers with a wide range of expertise, plus a keen willingness to help and advise members and visitors on all aspects of amateur astronomy.

Individuals amongst the voluntary staff can assist with queries regarding:  telescope construction and mounting, astrophotography, remote guidance and viewing, radio astronomy, connecting your telescope to a computer, the background science to astronomical events, sources of astronomical equipment , the history of astronomy and even the best types of clothing to keep you warm on a crisp, clear winters night.

The Astronomy Centre works with the   BBC Stargazing Live team and BBC Radio Lancashire to promote amateur astronomy in the North West and Yorkshire. There are  networking opportunities available via the  observatory staff which include :    information about other local amateur astronomy  clubs and societies, academic and research groups, professional observatories and the Royal Astronomical Society.

As a non-profit making organisation, the Centre is financed entirely through the efforts of its membership. This may be by the donation of time and money from  volunteers and outside sources, membership fees or personal sponsorships.

The Centre has a wide selection of equipment, ranging from binoculars of various sizes to several telescopes of up to 30" in aperture. The main instruments currently available are two 16" Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescopes, one on a traditional equatorial mount and the other on a computer controlled fork assembly. An 8½" equatorially mounted refractor ( available by prior arrangement) as well a 17 " Dobsonian Reflector on a "roll out" mount. Portable 6" and 8" Dobsonians can be quickly set up on the plateau for visiting observers to try out.

A 30" aperture open truss reflector is undergoing sky testing ( see equipment link), it was signed by John Dobson ( of  "Dobsonian Reflector" fame ) when he visited us a number of years ago.

Paid up members receive practical advice, use of equipment owned by the Centre when appropriate to do so, access to additional sections of this website and opportunities to share their knowledge and experience.

Visitors are welcome, the Observatory is open to the public each Saturday from 3pm till 6pm (in summer) and from 7.30pm till late all year round. We are also open at other times as announced, in cases of unusual or noteworthy astronomical events or group visits.