Friday, 14 June 2013

The Home of Sir Isaac Newton Woolsthorpe Manor

Back together as a unit of six and with everyone feeling a little better, poor Piper now has a cold! Still we set off for Woolsthorpe Manor which has long been on my National Trust places to visit. I was all prepared for the "have you booked ?" speech but it never came-hurrah! The rain just stayed off too

First up the children had a quick play with some of the games/experiments in the courtyard. This one required even spacing of bells before releasing a ball down and hearing them all jingle. We had to work out whether or not there was an equal amount between the chimes.

Next up, as recommended by the kind lady in reception we watched a video about Isaac Newton and his time at Woolsthorpe Manor. It was all done in the voice of his mother (actress voice not his real mother) and what she thought of his interests and personality. Was quite sweet actually and even made me a bit teary!

In the adjoining room there were opportunity's to play with different experiments but Ruben loved this iron fillings and magnet picture maker.

Meanwhile Piper and I looked at all the wedding photos from the National Trust's Seventeenth Century Wedding Exhibition. The house was all dressed up too as there will be a wedding (not a real one) taking place next weekend, its supposed to be of Isaac's sister Mary. There were some really beautiful photos and it was lovely looking at dresses from the 30's and 40's.

The outside of the house! Unfortunately, due to the age of the furniture there were no photos allowed inside the house which was a shame. The majority of the furniture inside was on loan from the V & A museum as most of the original furniture was lost through gambling debts, which is sad.

Inside the house it smelled lovely as there were fresh herbs from the garden in every room, just like a traditional home that was getting ready for a wedding. They even had cloves in oranges, which made it feel like Christmas. The house was very old and the floor had sunk in places meaning that in the upstairs bedroom no more than 7 people were allowed at once because it was so bad. I thought it added to the character, that and the black cat curled up on the bed anyway! There was a beautiful wedding dress displayed made from Lincolnshire wool you can see the lady wearing it in that link. It was gorgeous!

We also found out some new things about Newton as well as his scientific discoveries, he was also Master of the Royal Mint and in charge of dealing with counterfeiters and clippers. It was his idea of printing letters on the edges of coins so that they couldn't be clipped. He apparently signed hundreds of death warrants, even for children, whom he caught counterfeiting. After his death, pieces of his hair were tested to show he had very high mercury in his body from all his scientific experiments. A painting and a drawing taken show how quickly he aged due to the mercury poisoning.

Outside and I took the children's photo with an apple tree-not "THE" apple tree as that has a protective fence around. The seeds from the tree have been planted in different parts of the world including Cambridge University where he attended so that it should never die out.

The view of the house from the orchard.

Sheep in the fields

Playing wooden outdoor games in the barn

Then a trip into the science discovery centre to have a go at some experiments. 

Ruben liked this one, it was a vibrating table which you released circle apples onto and then used forces such as push to see what happens to them. All to do with the theory that objects will continue in a straight line unless a force is used to change their path. He even showed a lady how to use this later on! 

More natural force experiments, this was quite complex or at least the man helping made it sound complex?! But was interesting to watch.

The children loved this one but I had no time to find out what it was all about as the children wanted me to time how long the balls took to go out of the hole in the bottom-making up their own experiments! There was also a prism experiment that they enjoyed, so going to look at getting some of our own to use. Ruben learnt that if you put red, blue and green light together it goes clear-something that Newton discovered. We also had a go with weighted levers to see which went fastest-that was fun!

One quick look at the "real" apple tree Isaac Newton sat underneath when discovering the laws of gravity.

A very cool place to visit.


  1. What a great day. Definitely would add this one to our list if we were closer.

  2. What an enjoyable description you've given! My husband & I just watched the new Cosmos, where they briefly showed the house. Can you please answer this question? What are the unusual black S shapes above the front door? Are they iron hooks? Painted decorations? They're kind of weird, because they aren't paced evenly. We're just curious. We'd love to visit, but we're way over here in America. Thanks! :-)