Woolsthorpe Manor is a manor house in Lincolnshire, found at Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, near Grantham. Its fame is that this was the birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton, born on 25 December 1642 (by the old calendar). At that time it was a yeoman's farmstead, principally rearing sheep (hence the wool reference in the name.
Newton returned here when the University of Cambridge closed due to the plague of 1665, and here he performed many of his most famous experiments, most notably his work on light and optics. 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.
Woolthorpe is now owned by the National Trust 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 principles investigated by Newton in the house.
Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth 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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