JHI members visit the house from where Jeremiah Horrocks did the first ever observation of the transit of Venus

On Wednesday 20th September we had the pleasure to take a trip back in time visiting Much Hoole near Preston where Jeremiah Horrocks lived and worked when he observed the transit of Venus of 1639, the first time ever this astronomical phenomenon was observed.

Horrocks analysed Kepler’s data with mathematics and found that Venus’ transits happen in pairs about 10 years apart, something that was missed by Kepler himself. Horrocks and his friend William Crabtree in Manchester were the only ones to observe the transit.

We were given a tour of the Much Hoole Church where Horrocks worked and of the Carr House from where he observed the transit of Venus by current occupants of the house Jane and Clive Elphick. We are very grateful and we thank them for their hospitality.

Cover photo caption: Clive Elphick tells us the story behind Horrocks’ observations of the transit of Venus.

Caption: Much Hoole Church tour by Jane Elphick.

Caption: Carr House tour by Clive Elphick. The observations of the transit of Venus are thought to have been done by a telescope similar to the one in the 2nd row (right) from the window of the room in the last row (right). Other pieces in the room include an orrery used to demonstrate the transit of Venus (3rd row, middle), which is an exact copy of a historic one owned by the Royal Astronomical Society, and an orrery showing the transit of Mercury (2nd row, left and middle).

Caption: Details from the walls of the Carr House.