The Norman Lockyer Observatory Grounds

In 1912 the Observatory grounds spread over 17 hectares; now the figure is around 2. Surviving photographs give contradictory impressions: trees were absent, affording more distant views, but the land seems to have been uncleared heath. Lockyer had a house built halfway down the slope towards Sidmouth, using a funicular railway to convey stone down to that site. The same railway subsequently connected the house to the lower of the Observatory buildings.

It is likely that the grounds changed most in the years 1960 - 1985 when, in the interests of geophysics, the University cast a number of large concrete platforms, but otherwise did little to manage the vegetation.