Est. in 1961.

Crayford Manor House Astronomical Society Dartford (CMHASD) is very different from most other Astronomical Societies as we run our own professional advanced astronomy lecture programme, meet every Thursday (excluding Christmas week) and have a variety of society evenings & events.

Our lectures can be seen on our programme of events page.  A different lecturer from a university, the British Astronomical Association (BAA), Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Royal Astronomical Society, Institute of Astronomy or a professional scientist give a talk on their particular speciality. Thus, not only are the lectures authoritative, but also include the latest information & sometimes prior to its publication. We have been running our own professional lecture programme for over 60 years.

We are a very active society and provide access to a wide range of astronomical expertise within the society.  We have many members offering help and support on all levels of technical ability. We offer a mentoring scheme, pairing those starting in a new area of astronomy with those more experienced in the field. We aim to make astronomy accessible for all abilities and ages.

We attend events such as the Kelling Heath Spring & Autumn star parties in Norfolk, Astrofest in London, the British Astronomical Association (BAA) Winchester weekend & their meetings throughout the year. There are many more other astronomical events organized throughout the year by different institutions that Society members attend and so you will most probably find someone is going from our Society that you may be able to travel with or meet up with.

We also hold our own observing & social events throughout the year with details posted on the website or sent out via the ebulletin written by Chairman John Archer.

Our observing evenings offer something for everyone. We don’t expect those new to astronomy to bring their own equipment but if you do own equipment, we will help you get the most from it.

We have a book library for those wanting to study a specific topic in more detail and a magazine & journal library with the latest editions free to borrow.

The society has a selection of equipment and telescopes available for members to use.

We have a new observatory at the Parsonage Lane Pavilion, called the Dick Chambers Sutton-at-Hone Observatory housing a 16” Meade LX200 scientific grade telescope available for members to use once trained.

Our home is the Parsonage Lane Pavilion.  It is a lovely, dark and safe venue from which we observe and is as dark as can be found in the local area.

We can be found on flickr where we have a group page that members can join ( and we have a twitter feed too which members follow.

We have four types of evening and membership depends on the type of evenings you want to attend.

We do not stop any member from attending any evening but if the evening is not included in your membership then there is an additional fee to pay on the night. All evenings start at 7.45pm unless otherwise stated and the programme shows the type of evening.

Society Night  These usually take the form of updates and presentations from members but if clear we observe.
Informal Activity Night/Observing These evenings are less structured than a society night and range from observing & practical sessions, to running experiments, taking measurements, archiving material or a general social evening.
Lecture Night A 90 minute lecture from professional astronomer, space industry expert or nationally/globally recognised amateur astronomer (i.e. the best in their field).
Public evenings Open to anyone.

Please see our membership page for more details.


Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)

Crayford Manor House Astronomical Society Dartford is a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO). Registered Charity Number 1156678.


And finally…..

On a non-astronomical matter, it has been the custom since before memory for members to retire to the pub on the Thursday evening after a lecture or meeting (even in the holiday period!).

The society has a special scheme members can join if they so wish; of recording drinks consumed and drinks paid for to ensure that equality and harmony prevails.