image tracts_x32_4_plate 2
Image number: RS.10250
Credit: © The Royal Society
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The Octagon Room at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich




Francis Place (1647-1728, British), Painter


Robert Thacker (active 1670s-1680s, British), Draftsman

Object type




height (print): 230mm
width (print): 350mm


Content object


Interior view of the main observing room at the old Royal Observatory building, known as the star chamber or octagon room. The view shows three astronomers at work, one at a table making notes while two others use a quadrant (left) and a refracting telescope (right) to view the sky through open windows. At the back of the room are three inset clocks including (A and B) the pair of timekeeping instruments made by Thomas Tompion (1639-1713) for the observatory on the instruction of Sir Jonas Moore. These clocks are now in the British Museum and at the Royal Greenwich Observatory. Above them are portraits of Charles II and James, Duke of York, later James II.

Plate 2 from Ichnographia speculae Regiae Grenovici exquisite facta (London, 1676) a series of engravings commissioned by Sir Jonas Moore, the leading force in the construction and equipping of the original Royal Greenwich Observatory. The plate bears the inscription: “PROSPECTUS INTRA CAMERAM STELLATAM”.

Sir Jonas Moore (1617-1679) mathematician and patron of astronomy was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1674.

Associated place

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