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Cambridge University Library


The first observatory was built in 1739 on top of the Great Gate of Trinity College for the Plumian Professor of Astronomy. In 1822 the University commissioned a new building in a classical style near Madingley Rd, thought to be far enough from Cambridge smoke to guarantee clear vision. John Clement Mead was the architect. It now holds a number of historic telescopes and is part of the Institute of Astronomy. The Royal Greenwich Observatory was based at Greenwich House, just north of the Observatory between 1990 and 1998.