Ask a question about 'Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth'
Start a new discussion about 'Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth is a hamlet in the South Kesteven
South Kesteven
South Kesteven is a local government district in Lincolnshire, England, forming part of the traditional Kesteven division of the county. It covers Grantham, Stamford, Bourne and Market Deeping.-History:...

 district of Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire is a county in the east of England. It borders Norfolk to the south east, Cambridgeshire to the south, Rutland to the south west, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire to the west, South Yorkshire to the north west, and the East Riding of Yorkshire to the north. It also borders...

, England. It is probably best known as the birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton PRS was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian, who has been "considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived."...


Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth is 94 miles (150 km) north of London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, and half a mile (1 km) west of the A1 (one of the primary north-south roads of Great Britain. That road bypasses Colsterworth which grew up on the old Great North Road). The hamlet is two to three miles from the county boundary with Leicestershire
Leicestershire is a landlocked county in the English Midlands. It takes its name from the heavily populated City of Leicester, traditionally its administrative centre, although the City of Leicester unitary authority is today administered separately from the rest of Leicestershire...

 and four from Rutland
Rutland is a landlocked county in central England, bounded on the west and north by Leicestershire, northeast by Lincolnshire and southeast by Peterborough and Northamptonshire....


The hamlet now stands in rural surroundings but it is on the Lower Lincolnshire Limestone
Lincolnshire limestone
The Lincolnshire limestone is a feature of the Inferior Oolite Series of the Middle Jurassic strata of eastern England. It was formed around 165 million years ago, in a shallow, warm sea on the margin of the London Platform and has estuarine beds above and below it...

, below which are the Lower Estuarine Series
Lower Estuarine Series
The Lower Estuarine Series, also called in more modern publications, the Grantham Formation, is a relatively complex but generally thin set of geological strata which are usually considered as a group. It forms a lower part of the Inferior Oolite Series, which lies in the Middle Jurassic...

 and the Northampton sand
Northampton sand
The Northampton Sand, sometimes called the Northamptonshire Sand is a geological formation of Jurassic age found in the East Midlands of England...

 of the Inferior Oolite Series of the Jurassic
The Jurassic is a geologic period and system that extends from about Mya to  Mya, that is, from the end of the Triassic to the beginning of the Cretaceous. The Jurassic constitutes the middle period of the Mesozoic era, also known as the age of reptiles. The start of the period is marked by...

. The Northampton Sand here is cemented by iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

 and in the twentieth century the hamlet was almost surrounded by strip mining for the iron ore. This was the case in 1973 when the quarries closed with competition from the imported iron ore. It was in this year that the High Dyke branch line railway, opened in 1916 by the Great Northern Railway
Great Northern Railway (Great Britain)
The Great Northern Railway was a British railway company established by the Great Northern Railway Act of 1846. On 1 January 1923 the company lost its identity as a constituent of the newly formed London and North Eastern Railway....

, closed. It lay to the north of the village and was used to carry the ore away. There was an unsuccessful attempt to preserve this line. The railway's bridge still spanned the A1 until it was removed in 2009 during junction improvements.

Woolsthorpe Manor
Woolsthorpe Manor
Woolsthorpe Manor in Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, near Grantham, Lincolnshire, England, was the birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton on 25 December 1642...

, Newton's birthplace, is a typical seventeenth century yeoman farmer's limestone house with its later farm
A farm is an area of land, or, for aquaculture, lake, river or sea, including various structures, devoted primarily to the practice of producing and managing food , fibres and, increasingly, fuel. It is the basic production facility in food production. Farms may be owned and operated by a single...

yard buildings. It is owned by the National Trust
National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty
The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, usually known as the National Trust, is a conservation organisation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland...

 and is open to the public.

In the influential eighteenth century French encyclopedia Encyclopedie
Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers was a general encyclopedia published in France between 1751 and 1772, with later supplements, revised editions, and translations. It was edited by Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d'Alembert...

the entry on Woolstrope-by-Colsterworth is almost entirely a biography of Newton, this biography being so hidden because the editors of the Encyclopedie were ideologically opposed to biographies – see Great Man theory
Great man theory
The Great Man Theory was a popular 19th century idea according to which history can be largely explained by the impact of "great men", or heroes: highly influential individuals who, due to either their personal charisma, intelligence, wisdom, or Machiavellianism utilized their power in a way that...


External links