The Jodrell Bank Observatory is a very special place. It is one of the most significant places, worldwide, that played a role in the development of the new science of Radio Astronomy.  This year we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of astronomy at Jodrell Bank.

We launched our year-long anniversary programme on 14th December 2016, 70 years to the day since Sir Bernard Lovell first began scanning the skies from Jodrell Bank.

Many people do not realise that, until Radio Astronomy emerged, Astronomy was carried out using solely optical telescopes (telescopes that we can look through to see objects in the night sky). Radio Astronomy was one of the first steps towards Modern Astrophysics, which also uses the rest of the ‘invisible’ light (e.g. infra red, ultra violet, X-rays, radio waves) that comes to us from objects around us in space.

The Jodrell Bank site has seen many important developments in this science and is home to pieces of equipment and buildings (many still in use) that generated important scientific results that changed our view of the Universe around us.

In recognition of this importance, the Lovell Telescope is a Grade 1 listed structure and Jodrell Bank is on the UK shortlist (the ‘Tentative List’) for UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

We have recently begun a formal programme of work to gather together records and stories about our heritage from people who live in our area, who work here or worked here in the past – some of whom are now in countries far away. This work will be continuing over the next three to five years – we will post updates on it here as it progresses.

We are also working on our first Conservation Management Plan, which will bring together records and planning of much of the work carried out here to conserve our telescopes and buildings, and also identify a workplan for us for the future.

HLF logoThe heritage work at Jodrell Bank is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of our ‘First Light at Jodrell Bank’ project.

A new piece of modern art, featuring Jodrell Bank and created by world-renowned artist, David Mach RA, has been unveiled to celebrate the start of six weeks of celebrations for The National Lottery’s 25th birthday.

Thank You Week is back! From 25 November – 1 December, we will be taking part in the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s #ThanksToYou campaign by offering FREE ADMISSION* to all our visitors who play the National Lottery.

After a long period of maintenance work, the Lovell Telescope is back in action!
Since the spring of 2018, a number of tasks have been undertaken on the Telescope including painting, steelwork repairs, and a major project to fully replace the original 1957 Telescope surface.

Jodrell Bank was awarded Special Contribution to Tourism at last night’s Marketing Cheshire Awards, in recognition of its achievement in receiving UNESCO World Heritage Site status. 

Our #CaptureTheMoon challenge, which celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, called for people to take photos of the moon and share their memories of watching the the Moon landing at Jodrell Bank. This prompted many to get in touch and tell us that they were indeed here on that momentous day. John Lill and Dave Edwards have been kind enough to share their memories of that night with our Heritage Officer, Hannah Niblett.

As the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, we’ve been looking back at what was happening at Jodrell Bank on 20th and 21st of July 1969.

We arrived in Baku (capital of Azerbaijan) on Thursday and spent a lot of Friday finding our feet. The World Heritage Committee meeting is being held in the Baku Congress Centre, one of the city’s many dramatic and flamboyant buildings.

As we start gathering our papers and presentations and think about packing for our journey to Baku for the World Heritage Committee meeting later this week, we thought we’d share some of our wrestling with our conscience prior to our decision to go…

Early in July this year, we are off to Baku to attend the 2019 World Heritage Committee meeting – because this year, in July, in Baku, the World Heritage Committee will formally consider the nomination of Jodrell Bank for inscription on the World Heritage list.

We are delighted to announce that Hannah Niblett has joined the team here at Jodrell Bank as our new Heritage Officer. Hannah will be helping to deliver our First Light at Jodrell Bank project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and developing ways of preserving and interpreting Jodrell Bank’s inspirational heritage.