'50 things' fun at Woolsthorpe

Looking at Isaac Newton's gravity inspiring tree with the Manor in the background.

No.1 get to know a tree at Woolsthorpe. A very special tree that inspired Isaac Newton and holds a place in scientific legend.

Join in the ’50 thing to do before you’re 11¾’ fun at Woolsthorpe Manor.

We are custodians of the actual tree that inspired Isaac Newton’s work on the theory of gravity. Yes, the very tree from which an apple fell and caused Newton to ask the question: 'Why do apples always fall straight down to the ground?'

The tree is around 400 years old. For at least 240 years it has been shown to visitors as Isaac Newton's apple tree.

When a storm blew the tree down in 1820, pilgrims came to see it lying in the orchard. The broken wood was used to make small trinkets and mementos.

The tree remained rooted and re-grew strongly from the base. This is the tree you can see now.  It's a 'Flower of Kent' apple tree, a traditional variety which produces cooking apples.

Reading Newton's landmark work on gravity Principia Mathematica
Tim Peake reading Isaac Newton's Principia in space
Reading Newton's landmark work on gravity Principia Mathematica

The story of the apple falling inspiring Newton is a scientific legend. The tree holds a special place in the heart of scientists around the world. 

In 2015 British astronaut Tim Peake named his mission to space ‘Principia’ after Newton’s great work. Apple pips from our iconic tree were taken by Tim Peake to the International Space Station.

The pips then spent six months floating in micro gravity as part of the ‘Pips in Space’ project.  Those pips are now saplings and the search to find them new homes is well underway and should be announced in the summer.

You won’t just find the story of Newton’s gravity-inspiring tree in the Orchard.  Explore the Manor and see if you can spot a snuff box made from the broken wood of the fallen tree, find the 3D printed apple and peek at Newton’s great work Principia.

Make your own pilgrimage to Isaac Newton’s tree and No.1 get to know a tree in style.