By Linda Manas
Three weeks ago I went on a very interesting visit to St Michael’s Church, Much Hoole near Preston. I have recently read two books about transits of Venus and I wanted to see the windows in the church commemorating both Jeremiah Horrocks’ observation and the 2004 event. I have always been fascinated with eclipses and transits. In fact I have been on three total eclipse trips but have only seen one, last year in Tennessee. The previous attempts: Cornwall 1999 and Faroes 2015 were failures. I was lucky to see the Venus transit though in 2004. As I am sure you all know Jeremiah Horrocks was of course the first person to observe a transit of Venus in 1639. It is thought that he was a cleric at the church and also likely that he was a tutor to the Children of the Stone family who lived at the nearby Carr House. The former is disputed as it is thought he was not old enough to be a cleric. Horrocks is thought to have observed the transit of Venus from the room at the front of Carr House directly over the porch. He predicted it would occur at 3 pm and it actually occurred about 3:15 pm one November day. Of course he was on the Julian calendar as the UK unlike some European countries did not adopt the Gregorian Calendar until the mid eighteenth century.