The building of the Royal Observatory in 1675 made Greenwich into the astronomical centre of Britain.
This painting shows the view down from Crooms Hill, with the Observatory on the right, and Queen’s House down by the river. John Flamsteed was made the first Astronomer Royal, his job to observe and chart the skies to ‘find out the so-much desired longitude of places’ and to improve navigation and astronomy. The observatory was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, with purpose built space for large instruments. Towering over the observatory the 80-foot mast holds Flamsteed’s 60-foot refracting telescope.