Royal Observatory in Greenwich looks at £4.5m expansion

The Royal Observatory in Greenwich is looking to draw up plans which could see a £4.5 million expansion of the site in coming years.

Building Design report that £450,000 is to be spent on drawing up a framework with a partner being sought, which could then seek funds to improve the visitor experience.

The idea is for the project to complete in 2025 which is the 350th anniversary of the site’s opening.

A new extension would contain new galleries.

Park changes

The Observatory isn’t the only space in the area set for changes, with major work planned to the park and viewing area by the General Woolf statue.

That involves creating steps in front of the viewing area:

Changes to greenery at base of famous view beside observatory

The render doesn’t show planned fencing which is to be installed at various points allowing the area to be easily closed, with plans stating:

“Public access to the Grand Ascent will be granted but will be periodic and an operational matter for the Royal Parks”.

Trees in front of the Observatory are set to be removed.

The £10.5 million project was approved last year.


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I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

    3 thoughts on “Royal Observatory in Greenwich looks at £4.5m expansion

    • Guess it won’t be long before RoyalParks charge an entrance fee (don’t laugh!), and make it a rival to all other theme parks to attract the money making fraternity. Royal Parks beany hats, ice cream stalls everywhere, big screens with advertising neons etc etc. And closing all the bits that give the most fun for free-tranquillity, nature, fresh air, exercise (will all be ‘paid for only’ using private instructors in military gear and group activities) and it seems the option to closing off the toboggan runs if they feel inclined with fencing, to maintain the quality of the steps they are spending millions on to retain an essence of history that nobody cares about? Why can’t they leave well alone and concentrate on keeping the place litter free and ecofriendly?

    • There is no explanation for what presently is wrong with the ‘visitor experience’ at the Observatory nor an argument for this development. Can it really just be a commercial venture/maximising the yield? The current site seems perfectly adequate and in scale with its surroundings. Contemporary/modish presentations date and tend to look the same wherever one goes. If a little old fashioned, doesn’t that have charms? An awful lot of money for a framework study in these strange and straightened times…..


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