Friday, February 13, 2015

Brightling Observatory For Sale in 1953

Sussex Express & County Herald, Friday October 16 1953 - Page 10

Brightling Observatory Is For Sale

Brightling Observatory, built by "Mad Jack" Fuller over 140 years ago, is for sale again.  It was built on the site of a beacon by Fuller, who was the Squire of Brightling, and a Sussex M.P. from 1801 to 1812.
Some time ago it was sold to the Gypsum Mines by the Squire, Mr. T.P. Tew, and later resold and redecorated for the use as a private residence.  It was recently bought by Mr. Grinling of Fair Court, Wadhurst.
The Observatory is almost s well known as the celebrated Brightling Needle nearby, which also owes its origin to Fuller, who died in 1834.
It stands, as if in answer to Fuller's Sugar Loaf "Folly" as testimony to the deeper side of Fuller's character as a cultivated gentleman and a patron of science.
Designed by the great architect Sir Robert Smirke, who built the British Museum, the observatory was erected in 1810, being intended by Fuller for the use of he eminent astronomer, Herschel whose bust could be seen inside the building for many years.
The astronomical instruments were removed about 1908, and the building used as a reading room and later converted into a cottage.

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