First Day of Charging for The Observatory

Stephen took these illuminating photographs yesterday at 1.40pm. Above is the scene inside the charging zone, usually jam-packed with tourists queueing to have their photo taken standing astride the  Meridian line, frankly the only reason 99% of them come at all. 

Below is where the queue now forms; the kissing gate just outside the entrance.

Just in case you’re need to be convinced it’s not a bunch of horticulturalists who’ve just discovered the existence of the Observatory Gardens, here’s the other side of that gaggle:

Look on the bright side, though. If you’re keen to enjoy the contents of Flamsteed House without scores of uninterested tourists barging past looking for the photo-ops, you’re well-in. For a tenner you should have the place to yourself…


the attachments to this post:

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meridian line stephen 2

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meridian line stephen 3


16 Comments to “First Day of Charging for The Observatory”

  1. Scott says:

    That is funny!

  2. Jon says:

    I wonder how long this will last. If nobody goes in nobody goes to the gift shop or cafe, or have I got this wrong?-can you still get into any part of the complex without paying?

  3. Kate says:

    £10 is just rediculous really. Talking about cutting their noses to spite their faces….

  4. Stephen says:

    “can you still get into any part of the complex without paying?”

    Anywhere apart from Flamsteed house, and of course the Peter Harrison Planetarium, but there has always been a charge for shows there.

  5. [...] on Twitter earlier I ReTweeted a blog post by The Greenwich Phantom of some photos taken yesterday – the first day that the Greenwich Observatory had imposed a [...]

  6. Elaine says:

    Living close to the Observatory, I went for a last look on Monday before the charges-It was a beautiful sunny morning, the time at 12.35 was clearly shown on the dolphin sundial in the small formal garden, where people sat enjoying the sun. I tried to get my head around longitude and latitude-played with the digital maps describing the Harrison clocks (every now and then a digital spider ran across them!) and imagined Mr Pepys visiting the Astronomer Royal in those charming little rooms. I liked taking my visitors there but a jump from free to £10 is really too much!

  7. Dominic says:

    Gift shop will close – absolutely certain, just a matter of time. The best way to sum up the situation is that wonderful American internet-ism: Fail. Epic fail.

    The human crush into that little alley on a busy summer day is going to attract the health and safety nutters – expect restriction, regulation or even closure of the path.

  8. scared of chives says:

    They’ll scrap it as sure as eggs are eggs….

  9. [...] by photos posted on The Greenwich Phantom blog on the first day of charging, it seems the plan might have slightly [...]

  10. Stephen says:

    When there was last a charge in 2001 it was £10.50 to enter the NMM, Queen’s House and the Royal Observatory. However, if you just wanted to go in the Observatory the charge was £6.

    Looking at measuringworth.com/purchasing power I obtained these results. So it would appear that £10 is way over the top.

    “In 2009, £6.00 from 2001 is worth:

    £7.40 using the retail price index

    £7.80 using average earnings”

  11. Nick Martin says:

    The thin end of the wedge ? How long before it’s £5 a head to enter the park ?

  12. cerletone says:

    Don’t blame the trustees of the National Maritime Museum, blame the idiots running the country.

  13. Nick Martin says:

    Isn’t this Boris Johnson’s domain ?

  14. IanVisits says:

    Despite the headline images of an abandoned wasteland, it seems that visitor numbers were down by just 13% on the first week.

    http://www.docklands24.co.uk/news/visitor_numbers_drop_as_royal_observatory_starts_charging_entry_1_830201

  15. Local1 says:

    I went there recently and was disgusted, its not worth £10.From free to £10 is a lot. People in power forget the value of a pound to the people living here actually earning it. I know we need tourism but residents of the uk paying taxes who are being affected from spending cuts(rediculous fines, high petrol food rent ect ) should be able to show a tax bill and get free entry to all attractions and exibits! give us something back!

  16. Local1 says:

    oh and they are only doing it now so they can rake it in for the olympics without looking like there are deliberatley doing it next year!