Jodrell Bank, Cheshire

by Veronica

Cheshire's world famous radio telescope Jodrell Bank was the location of my Cheshire Day out today. Here's an account of it as a location and a little about its past.

The Jodrell family were originally from Yeardsley, on the Cheshire/Derbyshire border. Their ancestor was William Jaudrell, an archer under Edward the Black Prince in 14th C. By the late fifteenth century the family spelling was Jodrell.
Through marriage to Roger Knutsford’s daughter, Roger Jodrell of Yeardsley acquired Twemlow in Cheshire and so the Jodrell family resided at Twemlow giving their name to the Jodrell hamlet.

Jodrell Bank telescope was built here on Manchester University owned land in 1957. 60 years ago next year.

Jodrell Bank was first used by Manchester University's Department of Botany in 1939. The name of the site came from a slight rise on Jodrell land called Jodrell Bank. The local land was purchased from two very old established Norman families, the Leighs and the Massey's .This land was used for what became known as the Lovell Telescope after the scientist Bernard Lovell.

Today Jodrell Bank is a world famous centre for astronomy, tracking signals and sounds from stars and planets.

Jodrell Bank Radio telescope
Jodrell Bank Radio telescope

The dish of the radio telescope.

It is linked electronically to various other radio telescopes. Although it was completed nearly 60 years ago it is in remarkable condition. It points to various places in the sky depending on what day you visit.

The Discovery Centre

The Discovery Centre is the starting point.  It is modern, clean and welcoming. As we went further in to start the visit, lights above our heads reminded us of stars.  A pleasing touch.

the entrance
the entrance
All photos are Veronica's
Lights as we enter
Lights as we enter
 
The Orrery
The Orrery
A 13th star sign ; Ophiuchus
A 13th star sign ; Ophiuchus

Above, The Orrery

An Orrery is a mechanical model of the solar system showing its movements and positions of all the parts in relation to each other. At Jodrell Bank, the orrery is on the ceiling above your head. It is very interesting as it shows a 13th star sign Ophiucus.  This is placed between Scorpio and Sagittarius on the sky map. The Sun is in the centre.

OPH can be seen in the right hand picture.

beautiful gardens
beautiful gardens

Hands on activitites for visitors

Jodrell Bank has plenty to do when you get there.

Here are just some of the hands on science activities. There are some outside and inside. It is possible to stand inside the Big Bang exhibit and hear the BANG.

The Whispering Gallery has another dish about 100 feet away. The sound carries from one to another because of the curves of the dishes.

Whispering gallery
Whispering gallery
Outdoor hands-on science
Outdoor hands-on science
The big bang exhibit
The big bang exhibit
hearing space noises via Control Room
hearing space noises via Control Room

I am not a scientist so I don't know what this is but it was a very popular exhibit for obvious reasons. It was amazing! And beautiful at the same time.

hands on exhibit
hands on exhibit

The Control Room is a modest place. All those super brains working in there and it is just a modest little backwater.

The control room
The control room

Once the science parts of Jodrell Bank have been exhausted, there are still the beautiful woodlands and gardens. Refer back to the first paragraph, ... Jodrell was once part of  Manchester University's Botany Department.

It is a lovely half day out this one. Go if you are in Cheshire any time.

The dish at the end of an avenue of trees
The dish at the end of an avenue of trees
Updated: 08/03/2016, Veronica
 
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Veronica on 04/22/2016

Yes it is a lovely half day out I would think . It's restful and tranquil but very educational too. Of course that stunning, clear, crisp Cheshire air is there for the taking which makes it worth while.

When my oldest son and his wife come up from London they say the difference in Cheshire air is noticeable.

sandyspider on 04/21/2016

I would love to go there. Nice bit of history too.

frankbeswick on 04/09/2016

Franklins were less than nobility, but near the top of the commoner scale. They had to rent land, but it was always possible for them to rise to lord of the manor, which was not part of the peerage, but more like the gentry.This seems to have been what Jaudrell did.

Veronica on 04/09/2016

The Jaudrells are a well known Cheshire family. Being " an archer " wasn't a lowly position in the medieval armies.

William Jauderell has a Wiki page. They were of Norman origin.

frankbeswick on 04/09/2016

Jaudrell sounds a Norman name, one of the minor Norman families who took land in England. If Jaudrell married into a landowning family, he was not poor, so he is likely to have got his money by going off to war for some plunder, and fighting with the Black Prince he would have gained much wealth by robbing the French. I suspect that this wealth is what gained him entry into a landowning family.

But Jaudrell would have had a life other than archery.As one of Norman stock he would not have been a serf, but most likely from a family of franklins or tradesmen. Franklins were free farmers rather than serfs who rented land from the aristocracy. Leaving the family farm or trade to go on what was basically an armed robbery in another country was a common way for younger sons to behave at that time. Nice chap!

Veronica on 04/09/2016

TY. :)

Of course I am a history geek at heart but this was a visit to a scientific location. It is a lovely place and we have been visiting it for over 30 years.

Our national TV company BBC, does "Stargazing" programmes from there. I always apply for tickets but have never been successful; I'd be delighted if I was part of the ticket allocation. It would make my day.

blackspanielgallery on 04/08/2016

A nice meeting of new and old.

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