View of observatory erected on St Paul's Cathedral, London, c 1821.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by Samuel Rawle (1771-1860) showing the observatory erected over the cros and lantern of the dome of St Pauls Cathedral in London. Thomas Horner used this structure to execute a 360 degree panoramic sketch of the metropolis of London in 1821. Such aerial prospects became very popular during the first half of the ninetieth century. The resulting panorama was exhibited as a masive cylindrical picture that was viewed from inside. For this purpose special structures were constructed such as the famous 'Coloseum', a circular building for entertainment that stood in Regents Park from 1824 until 1875.