Observatorium Oakshaw Street West
Commonly known as 'Coats Observatory', the observatorium on Oakshaw Street West in Paisley, is one of just four public observatories in Britain, all of which are located in Scotland. The Coats observatory was designed by Glaswegian architect John Honeyman, and its construction was funded by Thomas Coats, a local thread manufacturer (hence the name). John Honeymans design had many impressive aspects, such as Victorian wrought ironwork, intricate carvings by John Young, and several stained glass windows depicting Galileio, Kepler and Herschel.
Officially opened to the public on October 1st 1883, and since then, daily meteorological recordings have been made and documented from the observatory. The observatories first telescope was a modest 5 inch refractor, kindly built for Coats Observatory by Yorkshireman Thomas Cooke, alongside and orrery (a mechanical model of the solar system), a spectroscope and a transit telescope. These were quickly followed by the addition of a ten inch refracting telescope in 1898, and both this and the original five inch telescope are still in use today. There was also a pavilion built at the rear of the observatory in 1898, in order to house extra astronomical and scientific tools, as well as seismic recording equipment. However this addition was demolished just 32 years later in 1930.
Coats Observatory is now owned by Renfrewshire Council and is open to the public every day except Mondays, including evening viewings during winter.