We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Sponsored by:
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: 10 Bathurst Street, Grahamstown, South Africa
Phone Number: (046) 622 2312
Description:

This odd house is an eclectic melange of architectural styles, the whimsy...

This odd house is an eclectic melange of architectural styles, the whimsy of amateur astronomer Henry Carter Galpin. Locals would set their watches by the time on Galpin’s clock tower.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 33 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 11
    Excellent
  • 16
    Very good
  • 3
    Average
  • 0
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Well worth a visit

An experience. ...well worth a visit...not something you see very often ... (the outside could do with a different colour coat of paint )

4 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago
sea143
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

33 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
Showing 31: English reviews
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

An experience. ...well worth a visit...not something you see very often ... (the outside could do with a different colour coat of paint )

Helpful?
Thank sea143
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Very worthwhile and reminds us of a bygone era where eccentric inventors would create magic from science and art, usually with a mixture of determination and imagination.

Helpful?
Thank gpsnomad
Grahamstown, South Africa
Level Contributor
54 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2016 via mobile

I've visited this museum as a child and an adult. I think it's very special. It contains the only traditional camera obscura in the Southern Hemisphere in the home of the man who made it. The house is decorated as it would have been at the time the camera was built - in the style of a 19th century settler... More 

Helpful?
Thank Greenhatgirl
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
35 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2016

This is the second time we viewed this museum and the observation post, and every time we are intrigued about the level of craftsmanship of all creations here. Welll worth a visit, guided tour inside...

Helpful?
Thank NickyVR1
Level Contributor
28 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2016 via mobile

I've never seen a camera obscura in action before and it is very interesting and very worth the R10 entrance fee. The rest of the meseum, as is often the case with our local museums, is a bit sad and tired. Peeling paint, unfinished rooms, dilapidated garden. Still has some interesting pieces though.

Helpful?
Thank Carla P
Kent
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2016 via mobile

While the museum itself is very tired and has little of real interest the climb to the rooftop observatory and the camera obscura is very interesting. The museum guide was very informative and the camera was used to show a 360 degree sweep of the town with historical notes that were illuminating. The climb and spiral access is maybe not... More 

Helpful?
Thank 1951art
Haenertsburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2016

My daughter and I climbed the 76 stairs to look at the Camera Obscura, which was fascinating and well worth a visit, Be sure you arrive at the museum before 4 as they close for visiors early. When you walk around the large white disc you are shown several angles of the view from the tower shown by the camera.... More 

Helpful?
Thank nan_forrest96
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
140 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2016

the observatory is a nice way to experience the mirror system of viewing from a still position . museum is basic but pleasant

Helpful?
Thank kingsrest
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2015 via mobile

Our guide was friendly and knowledgable and we really enjoyed his tour of the upper levels of the observatory and of Grahamstown as a whole given through the camera obscura (apparently the only Victorian example in the Southern Hemisphere!). We didn't have much time to look at the exhibits in the museum but at a glance they looked amazing and... More 

Helpful?
Thank KayTunmer
Bloemfontein, South Africa
Level Contributor
76 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2015 via mobile

Amazing museum filled with old Victorian clothing, equipment and technology. The Camera Obscura which is the only one in the Southern Atmosphere is mind-blowing and amazing!

Helpful?
Thank 136belinda

Travelers who viewed Observatory Museum also viewed

 
Grahamstown, Eastern Cape
Grahamstown, Eastern Cape
 

Been to Observatory Museum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Observatory Museum staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?