If you're looking for inspiration, what could be better than sitting under a tree that's a descendant of the one that prompted Newton's great leap of imagination.
The year is 1666 and, as mathematician Sir Isaac Newton takes a stroll around his family home of Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire, he sees an apple fall to the ground.
The rest, as they say, is history — and you can now own a piece of that very history. The National Trust and Blue Diamond Garden Centres are giving 10 people the chance to be a ‘custodian of one of the most significant trees in scientific history’. Ten saplings propagated from the ‘Flower of Kent’ apple tree that still remains at Newton’s home are being auctioned off to raise money for the future care of Woolsthorpe Manor, now in the care of the Trust.
Newton’s tree first put down roots around 400 years ago, and though it has suffered ups and downs — it apparently blew down and had to be re-rooted in 1816, according to the University of York (who have their own descendant of the tree) — it’s been nurtured and protected carefully for many generations. People have travelled to visit it as ‘Newton’s Apple Tree’ for over two centuries.
The auction is currently live and will remain open until 8pm on September 29. The 10 highest bidders will each receive their sapling (together with a commemorative photograph, planting kit, plaque and framed certificate of authenticity) at a ceremony on October 21 at Woolsthorpe Manor.
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‘This really is a tree with gravitas and we’re delighted that 10 lucky people (or organisations) will be able join us in looking after this unique piece of living horticultural heritage that continues to inspire new thought,’ says Andy Jasper, director of gardens and parkland at the Trust.
‘Whether someone is a passionate horticulturist, a science lover or they’ve joined together with their local community to buy something truly special for the benefit of their neighbourhood, we hope these saplings will grow to still be around in 400 years’ time.’
For more information and to bid on a sapling, visit www.bluediamond.gg/newtons-apple-tree
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