|Method||Lithograph with hand colouring|
|Artist||William Bevan and William Monkhouse after Henrietta M. Crompton|
|Dimensions||Image 304 x 478 mm, Sheet 395 x 545 mm|
Text below image:
Lord Rosse directing the conveyance of the Great Speculum to its position at the Base of the Tube, North Side.
The Great Telescope. (Of 52 feet focus, 6 feet clear opening of speculum)
Erected at Birr Castle in Ireland, By the Earl of Rosse, President of the Royal Society.
A rare, separately published, print showing William Parsons (1800–67), the third Earl of Rosse, directing the placing of the mirror into an enormous telescope he had had erected at his ancestral home, Birr Castle in western Ireland. The telescope's 56-foot tube was moved by a system of winches and chains. Light was collected by means of a mirror with a diameter of six foot, which was mounted in a framework built between two stone walls.
In the early 1840's, the Third Earl of Rosse designed and built the largest telescope in the world. With this telescope, he discovered the spiral nature of some of the galaxies, and from 1845-1914, anyone wishing to witness this phenomenon had to come to Birr. And they came, in their hundreds, from across Europe and beyond, to observe the stars with Lord Rosse or simply to marvel at this feat of engineering in the middle of Ireland. This Reflecting telescope remained the largest in the world for over 70 years. This 'leviathan' as it is named, remains in the centre of the Demesne as Ireland's greatest scientific wonder and represents a masterpiece of human creative genius.
William Monkhouse was the leading lithographer in York and made the city a centre for lithographic printing.
Condition: Toning from previous mount, spots of foxing to sheet.