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Woolsthorpe Manor

Woolsthorpe Manor was the birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton on December 25, 1642 (old calendar). At that time it was a yeoman's farmstead, principally rearing sheep (hence the wool reference in the name - thorpe comes from a Danish/Viking word meaning farmstead).

It was here that Newton returned to when Cambridge University closed due to the plague, and here that he performed many of his most famous experiments, most notably his work on light and optics.

Woolsthorpe (by Colsterworth) has grown from a hamlet of several houses in the 17th century to a small village of several hundred houses today; much of the original land once owned by Woolsthorpe Manor were sold to a nearby family, and some of the immediate open land has since been built upon. However Woolsthorpe Manor still remains on the edge of the village and mostly surrounded by fields.

Now in the hands of the National Trust and open to the public from spring to autumn, it is being presented as a typical 17th 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).

In the orchard to the front of the house can be found what is believed to be the apple tree that Newton mentioned in his theory of gravity.

New, once private, areas of the house are being 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 drawing of the period) being rebuilt, and the old walled kitchen garden, to the rear of the house, being restored.

Woolsthorpe Manor is approximately 100 miles north of London and can only realistically be reached by car (or by taxi from Grantham railway station, 10 miles to the north). It can easily be found by driving along the A1 and exiting for Colsterworth, about half way between Grantham and Stamford. There are confusingly two villages in Lincolnshire named Woolsthorpe, Woolsthorpe-by-Belvoir (Belvoir is pronounced beever) near Nottingham and Woolsthorpe by Colsterworth, where Woolsthorpe Manor can be found.