The Jodrell Bank site, famous for its iconic telescope named after Sir Bernard Lovell, began scientific research in 1945 when the physicist used radio waves – rather than visible light – to understand the universe.
For over 50 years the giant Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank has been a familiar feature of the Cheshire landscape and an internationally renowned landmark in the world of astronomy. It is only a 50 minute drive from Chester.
What to do?
Daily Telescope Talks
Join one of the expert Explainers for a short talk on the giant Lovell Telescope. You’ll learn all about its fascinating history and ground-breaking discoveries.
Talks last approximately 20 minutes and take place at various times throughout the day.
Free with general admission.
The Lovell Telescope
Since the summer of 1957 it has been quietly probing the depths of space, a symbol of our wish to understand the universe in which we live. Even now, it remains one of the biggest and most powerful radio telescopes in the world, spending most of its time investigating cosmic phenomena which were undreamed of when it was conceived. The most striking feature of the Lovell Telescope is the huge white bowl that can be seen for many miles around.
Check out the Lovell Telescope webcam to see what it is doing now.
Facts and Figures of the Telescope
|Mass of the telescope||3200 tonnes|
|Mass of bowl||1500 tonnes|
|Diameter of bowl||76.2 metres|
|Collecting area||4560 square metres|
|Surface area of bowl||5270 square metres|
|Amount of paint for 3 coats||5300 litres|
|Focal length||22.9 metres|
|Focal ratio (F number)||0.30|
|Height of elevation axis||50.5 metres|
|Maximum height above ground||89.0 metres|
|Radius of wheel girders||38.5 metres|
|Outer diameter of railway track||107.5 metres|
|Longitude||02:18:25.74 (dd:mm:ss West)|
|Latitude||53:14:10.50 (dd:mm:ss Nort|
A UNESCO World Heritage Site
On Sunday 7th July 2019, in recognition of its internationally significant heritage, science and cultural impact, Jodrell Bank Observatory was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status and has been inscribed on the World Heritage List.
Jodrell Bank now joins a prestigious group of sites across the globe recognised by UNESCO’s international community as sites of Outstanding Universal Value. The World Heritage Site inscription acknowledges Jodrell Bank’s tremendous scientific endeavours and its role in achieving a transformational understanding of the Universe. It places the site on an equal footing with the likes of Stonehenge and the Taj Mahal and represents an enormous accolade not only for Jodrell Bank and The University of Manchester, but also for the region, and the UK as a whole.
Once you’ve marveled at the size of the dish there is a gift shop to visit and also there is the Planet Cafe where you can buy light refreshments.
Jodrell Bank Prices
Children (Aged 4 to 18) £6.50
Under 4s FREE
Family of 3 £22.00
Family of 4 £27.00
Family of 5 £33.00
Directions to Jodrell Bank
Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre can be found just off the A535 between Chelford and Holmes Chapel. Junction 18 of the M6 and follow the tourist signs straight to the entrance, approximately 6 miles from the junction.
The most convenient station is at Macclesfield, which is on the West Coast Mainline from London Euston to Manchester. On arrival at Macclesfield you will then need to take a short 20-minute taxi ride to the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre.
The taxi rank is directly outside the main exit from Macclesfield station.
There is also a station in the nearby village of Goostrey, on the line between Manchester and Crewe, followed by a 2.5m walk via narrow country lanes.
Alternatively, you may be able to book a taxi to collect you from Goostrey Station on arrival (there is no taxi rank at Goostrey Station as it is a small village stop).
If you do wish to walk from Goostrey Station, you may find the following directions helpful, though you are also urged to bring a map or similar as the country lanes are very narrow and there is no footpath. You are not advised to walk this route during hours of darkness as there are no street lights.
- Leave the Station and turn right.
- Turn right just after the church onto Church Bank.
- Continue along the Blackden Lane until it forks, take the right fork onto Bomish Lane. Please do not venture off this road. At one point it will appear that you are walking away from the telescope, but hold your nerve as you are on the correct road.
- Continue around the right hand bend and over the railway bridge.
- The entrance to the site is on the right just after the railway bridge.
Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, The University of Manchester, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 9DL
Telephone Number – 01477 571 766
Email – Jodrell.firstname.lastname@example.org