Woolsthorpe Manor

Woolsthorpe Manor

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Woolsthorpe Manor in Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth
Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth
Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth is a hamlet in the South Kesteven district of Lincolnshire, England. It is probably best known as the birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton....

, near Grantham
Grantham
Grantham is a market town within the South Kesteven district of Lincolnshire, England. It bestrides the East Coast Main Line railway , the historic A1 main north-south road, and the River Witham. Grantham is located approximately south of the city of Lincoln, and approximately east of Nottingham...

, Lincolnshire
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, was the birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton on 25 December 1642 (old calendar
Julian calendar
The Julian calendar began in 45 BC as a reform of the Roman calendar by Julius Caesar. It was chosen after consultation with the astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria and was probably designed to approximate the tropical year .The Julian calendar has a regular year of 365 days divided into 12 months...

). At that time it was a yeoman
Yeoman
Yeoman refers chiefly to a free man owning his own farm, especially from the Elizabethan era to the 17th century. Work requiring a great deal of effort or labor, such as would be done by a yeoman farmer, came to be described as "yeoman's work"...

's farmstead, principally rearing sheep (hence the wool reference in the name — thorpe comes from a Viking word meaning farmstead).

Newton returned here when Cambridge University
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

 closed due to the plague
Great Plague of London
The Great Plague was a massive outbreak of disease in the Kingdom of England that killed an estimated 100,000 people, 20% of London's population. The disease is identified as bubonic plague, an infection by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, transmitted through a flea vector...

, and here he performed many of his most famous experiments, most notably his work on light
Light
Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation that is visible to the human eye, and is responsible for the sense of sight. Visible light has wavelength in a range from about 380 nanometres to about 740 nm, with a frequency range of about 405 THz to 790 THz...

 and optics
Optics
Optics is the branch of physics which involves the behavior and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it. Optics usually describes the behavior of visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light...

. This is also believed to be the site where Newton observed an apple fall from a tree, inspiring him to formulate his law of universal gravitation.

Now in the hands of 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 open to the public from spring to autumn, it is presented as a typical seventeenth century yeoman's farmhouse (or as near to that as possible, taking into account modern living, health and safety requirements and structural changes that have been made to the house since Newton's time).

New areas of the house, once private, were opened up to the public in 2003, with the old rear steps (that once led up to the hay loft and grain store and often seen in drawings of the period) being rebuilt, and the old walled kitchen garden, to the rear of the house, being restored.

One of the former farmyard buildings has been equipped so that visitors can have hands-on experience of the physical
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

 principles investigated by Newton in the house.

The village


Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth (not to be confused with Woolsthorpe-by-Belvoir
Woolsthorpe-by-Belvoir
Woolsthorpe, also known as Woolsthorpe-by-Belvoir, is a small village in the English county of Lincolnshire, about 5 miles from the town of Grantham...

also in Lincolnshire) has grown from a hamlet of several houses in the seventeenth century to a small village of several hundred houses today; much of the original land once owned by Woolsthorpe Manor was sold to a nearby family, and some of the immediate open land has since been built upon. Woolsthorpe Manor remains on the edge of the village and is mostly surrounded by fields.

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