Saturday, March 3, 2018


Woolsthorpe Manor, Lincolnshire,
Great Britain, home of
Sir Isaac Newton.
Recent investigations have found evidence that the famous 17th century scientist, Sir Isaac Newton, created rock art, drawings scratched into the interior surface of stone blocks his home was constricted from. "Using a photographic technique to survey interior surfaces of Sir Isaac Newton's childhood home, Woolsthorpe Manor, in Lincolnshire, England, conservator Chris Pickup has discovered a doodle of a windmill drawn by the scientist as a young man." (Brown 2018)

Woolsthorpe Manor is not only where Newton famously observed the apple falling from a tree which led him to theories on gravitation, but also where he conducted his experiments with a prism that gave him his understanding of light. "Newton was born in 1642 and grew up in the house, returning in 1665 when he left Cambridge during an outbreak of the plague." (Brown 2018)

Windmill, by Sir Isaac Newton,

"' Paper was expensive, and the walls of the house would have been repainted regularly, so using them as a sketchpad as he explored the world around him would have made sense," said Jim Grevatte, a program manager at Woolsthorpe Manor, in a press release." (Traverso 2017)

This practice was recorded in 1752 by Sir Isaac's friend and visitor William Stukeley. "After visiting Woolsthorpe Manor, William Stukeley, biographer of the great scientist remarked: 'The walls, & ceelings were full of drawings, which he had made with charcole. There were birds, beasts, men, ships, plants, mathematical figures, circles & triangles.'" (Collins 2018) In a wonderful coincidence, William Stukeley was one of our earliest archaeologists. "He pioneered the archaeological investigation of the prehistoric monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury." (Wikipedia)

            Windmill in black, other lines
              in red, by Sir Isaac Newton,

Conservator Chris Pickup discovered the new drawing during a careful study of the interior surfaces. "Previous sketches had been found in the 1920s and 1930s by tenants moving into the home, which is now owned by the National Trust, the largest conservations organization in England. Pickup and his team are currently studying the building, which is where Newton undertook his prism experiment and allegedly observed the famous apple falling from a tree, in order to understand more about the scientist's early investigations." (Traverso 2017)

"The technology, called reflectance transformation imaging (RTI), creates a synthesis of multiple digital images, allowing researchers to identify features invisible to the naked eye. "Each RTI requires over 24 photographs, so each small section is time consuming," Pickup explains." (Brown 2018)

Now I totally regret scolding our granddaughter for scribbling on our wall, I might have nipped another great genius in the bud.

Memorial plaque with sundial
plate, cut with a penknife by
Sir Isaac Newton in 1651, in
St John the Baptist's church,
Colsterworth, Lincolnshire,
Great Britain. Wikipedia.

PS: Another stone carving by Sir Isaac Newton is this sundial that he reportedly carved with a penknife in 1651 at the age of 9, in St. John the Baptist's church, Colsterworth, Lincolnshire, Great Britain. The inscription reads ""Newton: aged 9 years cut with his penknife this dial: the stone was given by C. Turnor Esqre, and placed here at the cost of the Rt. Hon. Sir William Erle, a collateral descendent of Newton. 1877."


Brown, Marley
2018 Newtonian Whiteboard, Archaeology Magazine, March-April 2018, p. 21

Collins, Tim
2018 Hidden Drawing by Sir Isaac Newton is Found Carved Into a Well of His Childhood Home Using a Revolutionary Light Trick Inspired by the Scientist,

Traverso, Vittoria
2017 Found: A Hidden Drawing in Sir Isaac Newton's Childhood Home,, December 8, 2017.


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