Coats Observatory is one of four public observatories operating in the UK, all of which are sited in Scotland. It resides in Paisley, Renfrewshire.

The history of the Coats Observatory is described on its homepage (see below), from where the two paragraphs are cited here. At the 1880 Annual General Meeting of the Paisley Philosophical Institution, it was proposed that the Society should purchase an astronomical telescope, the telescope to be housed in the then new and expanding Museum-Library complex. Mr Thomas Coats of Ferguslie, then a member of the council, offered to relieve the Institution of the expenses incurred, and with the advice of Professor Grant of Glasgow University, a 5 inch equatorial telescope by Thomas Cooke and sons of York was obtained.

Mr Coats next proceeded to provide a substantial building to house the instrument on the present Oakshaw site on part of the ground which had been purchased by Sir Peter Coats for possible Museum and Library extensions. The memorial stone was laid in March 1882 by Mr Thomas Coats who also endowed the new Observatory with a sum of £2,004 In October 1883 the new Observatory designed by Mr John Honeyman, one of the best equipped small observatories in the country, was officially opened to the public. Sadly Thomas Coats was prevented from opening the building by ill health and he died only two weeks later. His trustee added yet further equipment to that already supplied and made an additional gift of £2,000 to the established trust.

A bronze medal was issued in remembering the observatory's establishment. On the obverse the building of the observatory is displayed. Legend above is: "OBSERVATORY PAISLEY".

Paisley 1  reversePaisley 1 obverse

The reverse shows Thomas Coats left facing portrait. Legend around is his name and date 1883.

Nowadays the Renfrewshire Council is investing over £100,000 on a repair and maintenance program at Coats Observatory in Paisley. See details on Council's page below.