Skip to main content

Encyclopaedia of the North East

A: Arrow to astronomy

A large, blue letter capital A from a manuscript with astronomical and meteorological equipment and arrows.

arrow n
A straight, pointed missile, made to be shot: any arrow-shaped mark or object. 


The head or pointed part of an arrow.
Archery has long been practised in the North East. Originally a means of hunting or warfare, it was also a sport. Today archery is a minority pastime, replaced by the rifle, and more popularly the pool table and the dartboard.


The science of the heavenly bodies.

Despite the woefully inadequate weather conditions, Aberdeen has had two observatories. The Castle Hill observatory operated in the 1780s. It was owned by Marischal College and used to teach astronomy and navigation. Later, King's College established the Cromwell Tower Observatory in the 1860s which was used for astronomy and became part of the first national network of meteorological observation stations. Renowned astronomer David Gill started his career at this observatory.