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Time + Space Award

Illustration showing a young Sir Isaac Newton, Paul McCartney and Beatrix Potter against a colourful background
Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Paul McCartney and Beatrix Potter when they were younger | © National Trust Images/Mike McCartney/Alamy

The Time + Space Award has now closed. Thank you to everyone who applied and shared their big idea with us. We'll announce the winners soon.

Many great people have shaped the world we know today. Isaac Newton made discoveries in the fields of calculus and gravity, Beatrix Potter shared her passion for nature with stories such as Peter Rabbit and Paul McCartney made music with three other teenagers who went on to become The Beatles. These people, along with many others, lived in or loved the places that we now look after.

They all lived in separate eras and had individual passions, but one thing they had in common was that each of them had the time and space when they were young to explore their work and make things happen.

What is the Time + Space Award?

The Time + Space Award has been inspired by what Newton called his ‘year of wonders’. At the age of 23, Newton was forced to leave university and return home to Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire, a farmhouse we care for, because of a pandemic in 1666. He used this time to explore his ideas on calculus, optics and the laws of motion and gravity.

This award will give you the time, space and opportunity to explore your big idea in one of four areas – science, art and culture, society and nature and climate. A panel of experts from the fields of science, creativity and culture will help you develop your idea and bring it to life.

The prize

If you're chosen, you'll win an award up to the equivalent value of £5,000, which will be a bespoke package including:

  • A private guided tour of Woolsthorpe Manor with members of the Woolsthorpe team and time to work on your big idea here
  • The opportunity to showcase your big idea at Woolsthorpe Manor
  • Tools and resources to help with your idea
  • Meet the judge who's an expert in your subject area either in person or virtually
  • The opportunity to work with an expert from the National Trust on your idea
  • Dedicated mentoring time around your big idea
  • A one-year free entry pass to National Trust places
  • A book bundle featuring one book from each of the judges
  • We'll cover all your travel and accommodation costs and out-of-pocket expenses. We'll also pay costs to support childcare, caring duties and loss of working hours.

If you submit a valid application for the Time + Space Award, you'll get a free National Trust day pass for two visitors to use at any of the participating places in our care.

Meet the judges


Dame Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock

Dame Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock is a space scientist whose passion is demonstrating that science is for everyone. 

She’s an award-winning, BAFTA-nominated TV presenter and regular panel show member. Maggie has written seven books, served as President of the British Science Association (2021–2022) and is Chancellor of the University of Leicester.  

Dame Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock on a blue and pink background
Dame Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock | © National Trust/Lovelight Photography

Who was Isaac Newton?

Isaac Newton was always inspired by the natural environment and landscape around him. As a young child, his natural curiosity and ability to work well with his hands meant he’d already taken the first steps into a lifetime of observation and experimentation. The experiments he conducted, from as young as 15 years old, encouraged him to carry out further studies.

At 18 years old, Newton went to study at Trinity College in Cambridge. But in 1665, he was forced to leave university and return to his childhood home, Woolsthorpe Manor, to escape the Great Plague. It was here he explored the things that interested him and made world-changing discoveries on calculus, optics and the laws of motion and gravity.

An apple tree in the orchard at Woolsthorpe Manor is said to be the tree from which an apple fell and prompted Newton to ask why things always fell to the ground. He theorised that everything in existence is attracted to everything else and this attraction or power ties the universe together. You can still visit his childhood home and see the apple tree today.

An illustration of Sir Isaac Newton on a colourful background looking at a tree and an apple on the right side of the image

Discover more world-changers

Find out about the social history behind the places we care for and uncover fascinating facts about the people who have lived in them.

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Illustration of a young Beatrix Potter holding a dog in her arms against a pink and blue background

Who influenced the Time + Space Award? 

The Time + Space award has been inspired by many great people who shaped the world we know today. From making small changes to discovering new ideas, these individuals had the time and space when they were young to explore their work and passions. Discover more about who they are and how they changed the world.


Time + Space Award participation agreement 

The winners of the Time + Space Award must enter into and comply with the terms within our participation agreement.

Isaac Newton's apple tree protected by willow fence in the garden with the farmhouse at the background at Woolsthorpe Manor, Lincolnshire.

Woolsthorpe Manor 

Sir Isaac Newton changed the world here. Woolsthorpe Manor is now closed and will reopen in February 2024 – please check opening times before visiting.

Closed now
A oil painting on canvas, a three-quarter-length portrait, of Sir Isaac Newton in older age painted by Sir James Thornhill from 1712, held at Woolsthorpe Manor, Lincolnshire.

History of Newton at Woolsthorpe Manor 

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