Lauriston Castle

Professor Andy Lawrence of the Royal Observatory will be giving a public talk as part of the Lauriston Castle series, entitled “Stars, Time and Mountains: The Legacy of Charles Piazzi Smyth on Saturday at Lauriston Castle, Edinburgh. Tickets can be obtained on image credit wikipedia commons


An organ was installed in Old Greyfriars in 1865. James Brown did not approve as he was born in the north of Scotland. Neither did Bobby. image credit Greyfriars Kirk.

James Brown

James Brown the kirkyard superintendent claimed that Bobby appeared in the graveyard with a funeral party. When he died in 1868, the year following the hearing at the Burgh Court he was buried in the kirkyard.

24 pounder

class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-381″ src=”” alt=”” width=”2301″ height=”2352″ />

The 24 pounder failed to fire due to a faulty friction tube. Although it was replaced by a 12 pounder, the gun also failed to fire at one the following day. The time gun fired successfully  on the third day.

Provost Lindsay

class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-346″ src=”” alt=”” width=”236″ height=”298″ />

William Lindsay the Provost of Leith was also present at the ceremony to launch the One o’ clock Gun. When he died in 1881 he was buried in South Leith Churchyard. image credit Leith and its antiquities.

Francis Brown Douglas

class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-338″ src=”” alt=”” width=”354″ height=”427″ />

Francis Brown Douglas the Lord Provost of Edinburgh was present at the official ceremony held to launch the One o’ Clock Gun at the Royal Observatory in June 1861. When he died in 1885 he was buried in the Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh.  image credit The Lord Provosts of Edinburgh 1296 to 1932 published by Whitson

One o’ clock Gun ceremony

class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-355″ src=”” alt=”” width=”666″ height=”496″ />

The Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce sent out approximately three hundred invitations for the ceremony to be held at one o’ clock  on 5th June 1861  in the Royal Observatory grounds, marking the launch of the city’s time service in the Royal Observatory’s grounds.

Free Tours



Each Saturday the Collective runs guided tours led by a staff team member featuring the history of the Calton Hill over the past 200 years. The tour covers the architecture and astronomical instruments on site including the new buildings constructed in 2017-18. Tours are free (donations welcome) and are not bookable in advance – places are allocated on a first come, first served basis on the day. The tour begins from just outside the entrance to the City Observatory building and lasts approximately 45 minutes. The Calton Hill is an exposed location so please dress for the weather (in severe weather tours may be cancelled).

Oor Big Braw Cosmos

Published by Luath Press “Oor Big Braw Cosmos – A Cocktail of Cosmic Science, Imagery and Poetry” is scheduled to appear in the bookshops in  mid-May  Professor John C. Brown the Astronomer Royal for Scotland and  eminent  Lallans Poet Rab Wilson have teamed up to produce 256 pages packed with   readable astronomy facts, stories, and biographies plus pithy related poems by Rab . The book is  teaming with astronomy related images – people, places, objects and artwork plus oodles of sky images from diverse sources including many superb ones taken in Scotland by amateurs, like the one on the cover.