William Herschel Museum
William Herschel Museum
"I have looked further into space than any human being did before me". So said William Herschel, one of the most famous pioneers in the study of astronomy. Herschel lived in this Georgian townhouse and it was here in 1781 that he discovered the existence of the planet Uranus which helped to double the size of the then-known solar system.
Herschel designed his own telescope for his astronomy explorations, and he has been called the finest telescope maker of his day. He used Newton's theories of optics to design a telescope with a series of secondary mirrors to look deeper into space than anyone had been able to manage before. As a result of his work Herschel was awarded by George III.

The Herschel Museum was opened in 1981, exactly 200 years after the astronomer's famous discovery of Uranus. The house, built as part of a terrace in 1764, has been restored with authentic Georgian interiors, though we do not know exactly what it was like at the time of Herschel's residence here. The result is a house typical of midddle-class Georgian artisans and tradesmen, and is very diferent from the grand townhouses favoured by Georgian high society in Bath. Visitors can see the workshop where Herschel designed his telescopes. One of the cellars has now been turned into an astronomy auditorium, and to the rear of the house is recreated 18th century town garden.