On This Day In History: Foundation Stone Of The Royal Greenwich Observatory In London Was Laid – On August 10, 1675

AncientPages.com - On August 10, 1675, the foundation stone of the Royal Greenwich Observatory in London, England is laid.

In 1675, King Charles II laid the foundation stone of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. It had been created by Royal Warrant from the King on 22 Jun 1675. The building was designed by Sir Christopher Wren (who was also a Professor of Astronomy).

Royal Greenwich Observatory in London,

Royal Greenwich Observatory in London,

Construction was finished the following year. John Flamsteed was appointed as the first Astronomer Royal. Its primary uses were very practical—using astronomy for navigation and timekeeping by determination of star positions.

In 1767 the observatory began publishing The Nautical Almanac, which established the longitude of Greenwich as a baseline for time calculations.

See also:

Sir Christopher Wren – Genius Mind Of Most Influential British Architect Of All Time

This led in part to the international adoption (1884) of the Greenwich meridian as the Earth's prime meridian.

The Royal Observatory, Greenwich (known as the Royal Greenwich Observatory or RGO), is an observatory situated on a hill in Greenwich Park, overlooking the River Thames. It played a major role in the history of astronomy and navigation and is best known as the location of the prime meridian.

The observatory was commissioned in 1675 by King Charles II, with the foundation stone being laid on 10 August. The site was chosen by Sir Christopher Wren, an influential architect.

At that time, the king also created the position of Astronomer Royal, to serve as the director of the observatory and to "apply himself with the most exact care and diligence to the rectifying of the tables of the motions of the heavens, and the places of the fixed stars, so as to find out the so much desired longitude of places for the perfecting of the art of navigation."

He appointed John Flamsteed as the first Astronomer Royal. The building was completed in the summer of 1676 and is often called "Flamsteed House."

The scientific work of the observatory was relocated elsewhere in stages in the first half of the 20th century, and the Greenwich site is now maintained as a museum.