HC Deb 02 February 1949 vol 460 cc229-30W
35. Mr. Erroll

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty what arrangements have been made for the provision of suitable accommodation for the Royal Observatory at Herstmonceux; what steps have been taken to ensure that the new buildings will harmonise with the castle and its present surroundings; and to what extent temporary or prefabricated buildings are being erected in the locality.

Mr. W. Edwards

Arrangements for the accommodation of the Royal Observatory at Herstmonceux have been worked out in consultation with the Astronomer Royal. The new buildings which will be needed are being designed by qualified architects on the staff of the Admiralty. These buildings will be largely functional in character and must be fitted with domes for telescopes, etc. Unfortunately, they cannot be made to harmonise completely with a mediaeval castle, but most of them will be situated at some distance from the castle and arrangements are being made to use materials which externally will harmonise with those embodied in the castle itself.

Certain temporary buildings which were erected by the war-time occupants of the castle are being used in the interests of general economy until permanent buildings can be provided. No new temporary or prefabricated buildings are contemplated by the Admiralty.

37. Commander Maitland

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty why entry to the grounds of Herstmonceux Castle has been prohibited to the public.

Mr. W. Edwards

As I informed the hon. Member for Rye (Mr. Cuthbert) on 21st July last, it was considered necessary to exclude the public from this site while constructional work was in progress. Consideration is now being given, however, to opening the grounds to the public at an early date on certain days of the week.