BBC presenter Tim Wonnacott and SHA officer Kevin Kilburn display the Bevis Atlas

Historic celestial atlas to star on BBC

BBC presenter Tim Wonnacott and SHA officer Kevin Kilburn display the Bevis Atlas

BBC presenter Tim Wonnacott and SHA officer Kevin Kilburn display the Bevis Atlas

The Great Antiques Map of Britain is a new BBC TV series due to air on BBC2 towards the end of the year.

Presenter Tim Wonnacott embarks on a nationwide journey to discover the people, the places, the antiquities and collectables that tell the story of Great Britain.

Before he arrives, Tim throws down the challenge to the locals to bring him their precious family heirlooms and antiques for an expert opinion and appraisal.

When a visit to their city was announced, Manchester Astronomical Society (MAS) seized the opportunity to bring along their rare copy of the mid-18th century celestial atlas of John Bevis – also known as ‘Uranographia Britannica’.

This was discovered in the Godlee Observatory by members of MAS in 1997 and is held at Chetham’s Library. Less than 30 copies are known to exist worldwide. During the show, which will be broadcast sometime in October or November, an auctioneer valued the atlas at between £30,000-£35,000.

MAS will soon be publishing a new CD with high resolution digital images of the entire atlas. Watch out for purchasing details.

From the SHA eNews Oct. 2014