Natural Science Centre, Newchapel

History Tour: Next Location

Update November 2011:

The centre was closed to the public in approx 2010 due to the ill health of the director Michael Pace. At the present time the acting director is Anthony Pace. Active development work is being carried out and it is hoped to re-open the centre to the public within 2 years.

The Natural Science Centre is an educational and recreational visitor centre situated in Newchapel, one of the oldest villages in North Staffordshire. The famous engineer and canal builder, George Brindley, is buried here.
Michael Pace who has written many articles on astronomy and given lectures to local groups. The astronomical photos on this page were taken by Michael Pace.

See also the Observatory Newsletters:-


The Centre has a planetarium, observatory, alternative energy displays and a large conservation area. The themes and their relationship to each other provide a memorable experience for visitors.
The Centre caters for all ages and has wheelchair access. Guided tours and slide shows give a better insight into the many themes portrayed.
This applies especially to school parties, local societies and interest groups.
Teachers will be particularly interested in the relevance to the new National Curriculum for Science and Geography.

Families can take advantage of the pleasant
picnic areas around the site.

Ecology and Conservation

The reclamation and landscaping of a wasteland spoilheap site has created a wildlife haven which includes a wooded area, bog and many rock features.
The site's elevation gives breath-taking views of the countryside which can be seen through the camera obscura.

Photo of Moon
The Moon

Astronomy and Space Science

In the daytime the planetarium demonstrates the fascination of astronomy with exciting moving slide show presentations.

In the evening the large reflecting telescope brings the incredible universe into the observatory dome.

An Aurora
An Aurora (1974)

The main telescope
The Hale Bopp Comet
The Hale Bopp Comet

Alternative Energy

Examples of windmills and solar panels demonstrate the use of alternative energy technology. The exhibition building is heated by sun and wind!


Live pictures from weather satellites are continually received and compared with the Centre's own weather sensor displays. Examples of locally important fossils and minerals are on show. Try your hand at gem panning.

Exhibition Building

The multiple themes of the exhibits follow an evolutionary path from the 'Big Bang' at the beginning of the universe, through the rise of life on earth to man's search for extra-terrestrial intelligence and includes displays of meteorites, dinosaur fossils, pond life, space models and weather information.

A piece of rock blasted from the surface of Mars has pride of place in the exhibition.

There is also a souvenir shop with specimens on sale.


The site is at the end of an alley way off Newchapel High St. It has a parking space for about 15 vehicles.
There is a sign attached to a lamp post about 10 yards before the alley way.

Postal Address

Newchapel Observatory
Off High St.
United Kingdom

Opening Times

The site is not open to the public at present


Not yet determined

Enquiries and further information:

Astronomy Links:

The famous Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank is about 30 min drive away and well worth a separate visit.

Last Update: 9 Nov2011