Woolsthorpe Manor
Woolsthorpe Manor

This is the small rural farmhouse where scientist Isaac Newton grew up. To call Woolsthorpe a manor house may conjure up an image of a stately home. Nothing could be further from the truth; Woolsthorpe is a small stone farmhouse with a collection of outbuildings. Think of it as a house suitable for a yeoman farmer, and you won't be too far wrong.

Isaac Newton was born at Woolsthorpe on Christmas Day, 1642. Newton was a sickly child and was not expected to live to maturity. He confounded even his own family by surviving. His mother hoped he would grow to take over the farm, but Isaac proved unsuited to that role and was eventually shipped off to Cambridge University. In 1665 he returned to Woolsthorpe to escape the plague in Cambridge.

It was during this period of 'exile' at Woolsthorpe that Newton began many of his most important experiments in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, optics, and the laws of motion. More famously it is where he had his moment of revelation under the apple tree. THE apple tree still stands in the orchard near the manor house.

A descendent of THE apple tree stands in the orchard
A descendant of THE apple tree
still stands in the orchard

It is surprising that it does so; it was damaged by lightning many years ago and appeared to die. However, a shoot grew from the trunk of the tree as it lay on the ground, and it is this shoot from the original apple tree that grew to the tree we see today.

Inside the manor, we can see a good example of the vernacular architecture of the time when Newton lived at Woolsthorpe. There are several examples of graffiti on the walls, one of which may have been drawn by Newton himself. The room on the upper floor where he conducted many of his experiments is essentially as he left it.

Several of the farm buildings at Woolsthorpe have been made into facilities to teach visitors more about Newton and his world. The Byre houses an audio-visual room where you can watch a short film about Newton and his time at Woolsthorpe, and another of the buildings has been turned into a science Discovery Centre, offering hands-on experience in several of the scientific fields investigated by Newton.

Woolsthorpe for Families

The Discovery Centre proved an enormous hit with our youngsters, aged 13 and 7, and the hands-on science experiments prompted lots of curious questions about how the universe works - the same sort of questions, no doubt, that troubled Isaac Newton so many years ago!

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About Woolsthorpe Manor
Address: Water Lane, Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, Grantham, Lincolnshire, England, NG33 5PD
Attraction Type: Historic Building
Location: Off the A1
Website: Woolsthorpe Manor
Email: woolsthorpemanor@nationaltrust.org.uk
National Trust - see also: National Trust memberships (official website link)
Location map
OS: SK924 244
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express


HeritageWe've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.

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17th century (Time Period) -


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