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.

Last week, we released the audio recordings from a Soviet space mission from almost exactly fifty years ago, just as the race to the Moon was approaching the finish line.

Thank You Week is back! From 3 – 9 December, we will be taking part in the Heritage Lottery Fund’s #ThanksToYou campaign by offering FREE ADMISSION to all our visitors who play the National Lottery.

Visitors to the Discovery Centre will notice that the Lovell Telescope is currently undergoing some maintenance work. A number of significant tasks are being undertaken: painting, steelwork repairs at the top of one of the supporting towers, and replacement of the original 1957 surface.

We are absolutely thrilled to be able to announce today our £20.5m transformative First Light at Jodrell Bank project is set to receive a total of £16.1m from The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Jodrell Bank Observatory has been chosen as the UK’s nomination for World Heritage site status in 2019, Heritage Minister Michael Ellis announced today. The Observatory, part of the University of Manchester, is home to the Grade I Listed Lovell Telescope and is a site of global importance in the history of radio astronomy. Founded in 1945, […]

We were delighted to hear on Wednesday that the Discovery Centre was awarded £4m in the Autumn Statement to go towards our First Light Project. This fantastic news provides the final piece in the jigsaw that will enable us to move ahead with our exciting and ambitious plans for the development at Jodrell Bank. Subject to the […]

From 11 – 17 December, we will be taking part in the Heritage Lottery Fund’s #ThanksToYou promotion by offering FREE ADMISSION to all visitors who play the National Lottery. We’ll be joining over 350 other venues in this nation-wide campaign to demonstrate the impact of lottery funding. -Without National Lottery players, the £7.7billion of funding awarded to more […]

As we tell everyone the news that Jodrell Bank is going forward for nomination as a World Heritage Site early in 2018, this is a good time to take a step back from it all and reflect on the journey that has brought us to this point. To be honest, back in 2010, when the […]

Bring all the family to Jodrell Bank this summer and join us as we celebrate 60 years of the giant Lovell Telescope. Standing tall on the Cheshire landscape since 1957, the impressive near 90m high radio telescope has become a familiar sight for many of us. But it’s not just a local landmark -The Lovell Telescope has international significance […]

A brand new opportunity to volunteer at Jodrell Bank. With 35 acres of gardens and arboretum, Jodrell Bank has a strong horticultural tradition and the site was originally part of the University of Manchester’s botany department. The Gardens were planted by Sir Bernard Lovell, the founder of the Observatory, who had a passion for biodiversity, […]