The Great Melbourne Telescope

Built in 1868 by Thomas Grubb in Ireland, the Great Melbourne Telescope was the second largest operating telescope in the world. Designed to to explore the nebulae visible from the southern hemisphere, its home was the observatory at Melbourne Botanical Gardens until closure in 1945.

Great Melbourne Telescope. Probably taken 1890s or early 1900s, published in The Australasian newspaper in 1919. Courtesy of Museum Victoria.

Telescope being assembled (1868 or early 1869). Courtesy of Museum Victoria

Telescope undergoing restoration (Photo: Matt Smith)

Matthew Churchward and part of the telescope (Photo: Matt Smith)

Panorama of Melbourne. Great Melbourne Telescope visible at far right

Black and white photos courtesy of Museum Victoria

Richard Gillespie
Head of Humanities
Museum Victoria
Book: The Great Melbourne Telescope

Matthew Churchward
Senior Curator, Engineering and Transport
Museum Victoria
Twitter: @GMT21stC

Phoebe – Melodium
Brightening, Geneology, Morning Mist, Reflector – Poddington Bear
A Space Oddity (instrumental ) – David Bowie