Last month marked the bicentenary of the death of William Herschel.

William who? For those who know, Slough Museum are central to celebrating this anniversary of the astronomer, for those who don’t we are keen to spread the word about this significant figure in the history of Slough and the universe.

Slough Museum - in partnership with The Herschel Museum of Astronomy in Bath, The Royal Astronomical Society, The Curve Slough and St Laurence’s Church, Slough - are marking the 200th anniversary of the death of William Herschel – who lived, built telescopes, explored the cosmos, discovered inferred, married and is buried in Slough.

Slough Observer: Caroline Herschel offers William a cup of tea whilst he is grinding a metal mirrorCaroline Herschel offers William a cup of tea whilst he is grinding a metal mirror (Image: Slough Museum)

With thanks to Lottery Players, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England.

Herschel discovered Uranus in 1781 and was celebrated across Europe and received an offer of employment from King George III.

When he took up his position as the King’s Astronomer, he and his sister Caroline left Bath to be near Windsor Castle.

They eventually settled in Observatory House, Slough, on the corner of Windsor Road, now named Herschel Street. William remained here for the rest of his life. He died on 25 August 1822 and is buried in St Laurence’s Church.

Slough Observer: Close-up view of the Herschel Arms pub sign, 2016Close-up view of the Herschel Arms pub sign, 2016 (Image: Slough Museum)

William built his 40-foot telescope in the garden of Observatory House. For fifty years it was the largest telescope in the world and even featured on ordinance survey maps. It was dismantled on New Year’s Eve 1839.

Observatory House was demolished in the late 1960s. The Herschel Sculpture, created in 1969 by artist Franta Belsky, now marks the former site of the house.

We are celebrating with a free programme of activities – family workshops, adult talks, exhibitions and performances.

Slough Observer: A part of the Herschel stained glass window in St Laurence ChurchA part of the Herschel stained glass window in St Laurence Church (Image: Slough Museum)

 This Friday 30th September we present ‘Stardust’ at St Laurence’s Church on Upton Court Road at 7.30pm. The 30 minute concert is inspired by Herschel with original music by Slough artist Rob Harris and sung by the Herschel Stars Choir.

On display will also be An Imperfect Account of a Comet – an amazing light installation created by Lynda Laird using the Royal Astronomical Society archive material of 560 stars Caroline Herschel discovered.

Check out or social media @SloughMuseum for more information.