Science and Spirituality: Astronomy and the Benedictine Order

Opens on 4 May, until 12 December 2016

Since its re-establishment after the reformation in the early 19th century, there have been several members of the Catholic community at Downside Abbey who harboured a strong interest in astronomy, including a monk who knew and corresponded with William Herschel.  In the middle of the 19th century, an observatory was actually built within the monastic grounds; shortly afterwards, it was destroyed by fire.  The drawings and designs for this building have only recently come to light.