Step into the Past
“Mr William West creator of Bristols Camera Obscura, begs most respectfully to inform you that the Observatory is now open, and upon the summit of the tower is placed an excellent and unusually large Camera Obscura. This Optical instrument can be rotated 360 degrees to offer a marvellous picture of the extensive and varied scenery around the Observatory. To those unacquainted with this engineering, will see it as truly magical” – Mercury, 1836.
William West's Camera Obscura is now 1 of only 3 working Camera Obscuras in the UK. This marvellous piece of Victorian engineering has sat on ton of Clifton Observatory’s tower since 1828. The Camera Obscura use a series of lenses and mirrors to reflect a 360 panoramic picture onto a viewing dish. The Camera Obscura can best be described as Victorian CCTV and now seems truly futuristic.
Discover the hidden secrets of the Clifton Observatory’s history. With a vast heritage, there is much to learn about what the Observatory was used for. As you journey to the Camera Obscura, you walk through their newly renovated museum, detailing the history of Clifton Observatory.
Map & Directions
Tel: +44 (0)117 974 1242
|Open (1 Jan 2019 - 31 Dec 2019)|
* Summer: April – Sept, 10:00 – 17:00
Winter: Oct – Mar, 10:00 – 16:00
(Last entry 15 minutes before close)