One of two photographs (silver prints) of the Great Rosse Telescope taken from the south east. Taken about 1880 by Lieutent-Colonel Harry J. Watson, whilst he was posted to nearby Newbridge.
Taken about 1880, this photograph shows the Great Rosse Telescope from the southeast. Constructed between 1842-5 by William Parsons, the Third Earl of Rosse, it was soon known as the 'Leviathan of Parsonstown'. Located in Ireland at Parsonston, now Birr, the reflecting telescope had a 6-foot metal mirror weighing four tons. Rosse used his great instrument to try and determine the nature of nebulae, misty patches in the sky. This was mounted in a 15m tube slung by chains between massive masonry walls. This image is one of two photographs taken of the telescope by Colonel Harry J. Watson, who as a serving officer was posted to barracks at the nearby town of Newbridge.