Our Society

Welcome to the Mansfield and Sutton Astronomical Society. We are a non-profit making registered charity dedicated to furthering interest in astronomy within the community.

The society is primarily funded through member subscriptions, fundraising events and Open Evenings held at the observatory, although charitable donations from local industry, and several grants have also been gratefully received and invested in the observatory premises and equipment.

The main aims of the society are:

  • To further the interests of Astronomy and related subjects within the local community.
  • To introduce interested members of the general public to the subject of Astronomy.
  • To provide a forum for education in Astronomy and observational techniques.
  • To provide members with the best observational equipment possible, subject to the financial limitations of the society.


In order to further these aims, the society owns and operates the Sherwood Observatory, which houses a 61cm Newtonian telescope, designed and built by society members.

Located on one of the highest points in Nottinghamshire, the Sherwood Observatory features a 21 foot diameter rotating dome, and a 45-seat lecture theatre, along with accompanying office, kitchen and workshop.There is a ramp into the building providing wheelchair access to the lecture room and there are toilet facilities for disabled people.

Society Patrons

The society is pleased to count the 13th Astronomer Royal Professor Sir Francis Graham-Smith F.R.S. and Professor Michael R. Merrifield, from the University of Nottingham School of Physics and Astronomy as its patrons.

Professor Sir Francis Graham-Smith held the position of 13th Astronomer Royal from 1982 to 1990, and also officially opened the Sherwood Obervatory in 1986.

Mike Merrifield primarily studies the properties of nearby galaxies using telescopes at radio, infrared, optical and even X-ray wavelengths.


Sherwood Observatory,
Coxmoor Road,
NG17 5LF,
Telephone (+44) 01623 552276
Lat.: 53° 06' 50" N. Long.:01° 13' 20.7" W.
Altitude above sea Level 187.9 m