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Building underway on St Martins Observatory

The construction of the Community Observatory on St Martins is now underway, with the project due to be completed in Autumn 2018.

The Observatory will be located behind the Island Hall and Reading Room on St Martins.

The site, excavated and ready for concrete.

The first concrete laid.

Terry Davies, who is project managing the build, said: “These are the pads that will carry the telescope piers. They are blocks 1 metre square and 600mm deep. They are deeper than the main slab and insulated from it by a polystyrene gasket to stop any vibration from people walking around outside”. This will be essential for deep sky viewing through the Observatory's 14 inch Meade telescope.

First pouring of concrete with reinforcing mesh.

First slab finished – 2 more to go!

And the final slab is in place!

Terry said: “The slab is now ready for the build. The domes are now being made to spec and should be shipped in the next couple of weeks. The warm room should also arrive early September.”

Val Thomas, Chair of COSMOS (Community Observatory St Martins on Scilly) said: “We are delighted with the progress of the project and look forward to the Observatory being ready in the near future; we see it as a centre of excellence for use by all ages - locals from all the islands and our visitors.”

COSMOS secretary Charlie Payne added: “All being well, the Observatory construction is due to be completed this Autumn. Then it's down to us - the COSMOS team - to master the equipment and get the facility ready for its first visitors.”

Alongside an ongoing raffle, COSMOS are hosting a fundraising Gala Dinner at Karma St Martins on Saturday October 6th, which aims to raise the additional funds required to complete the project. Internationally acclaimed astrophotographer Damian Peach will attend as guest speaker.

For more information on COSMOS and updates on the progress of the construction, visit


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