#Newtonwalk Digital workshops – 11th -13th September

Social Media and Walking workshops – hosted by Richard White

Dates 11th -13th September  Location : Grantham Museum.

Here’s what you can bring along:

Media contributions

Audio Contributions

Richard will be offering the following:

1) Setting up your social media accounts:

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  •  Flickr
  •  Audioboo
  •  YouTube

And more….come along and ask. Absolute beginners welcome!

2) Sharing social media safely

  • Using your accounts to create a shared digital artwork
  • Using buddybeacons to link up with walking networks
  • Viewranger
  • Social Hiking 

3) Walking and gathering sounds and images on a walk

Using our accounts we’ll go for a walk and gather content for the project.

This workshop will be very useful for any walkers planning to take part on foot or remotely in the Gravity Fields Festival walks with Ali and Richard

Small groups, possibly one to one. Bring your own smart device, or come with a friend who has one.

The workshops will be flexible and run as follows:

Thursday 11 September

11.00-1.00         Setting up(1)

2.00-4.00           Sharing (2)

5.00-7.00           Sharing (2) plus a short evening walk


Friday 12 September

9.00-11.00         Setting up(1)

11.00-1.00         Sharing (2)

2.00-6.00           Walking and gathering(3)

Saturday 13 September

11.00-1.00         Setting up(1)

2.00-4.00           Sharing(2)

4.00-6.00           Walking and gathering(3)

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Calling all creatives – make some Newton noise!!

Gravity Fields/Newtons Footsteps:

…a global social media adventure in the heritage of Sir Isaac Newton….

Call for audio contributions:


This call is open to any musician or sound artist working or based in Lincolnshire and the surrounding area.


To devise a short audio interpretation of any of Newton’s discoveries/experiments/theories from physics to alchemy.


To be delivered as a file or via SoundCloud on or before Thursday 11 September 2014


From a penny whistle to found sound to music technology. The piece needs to be copyright free and shared on a Creative Commons license.


Connect with unique arts and science adventure at Gravity Fields. All contributors will be credited and a small fee is available for those selected. The work will be used as part of an installation online and at Grantham Museum.

This is part of a wider social media and walking arts project involving digital artist Richard White and carnival artist Ali Pretty, culminating in two days of walking In Newton’s Footsteps on 26 and 27 September at the Gravity Fields Festival.


For further information:

Contact: Richard White on walknow.post@gmail.com

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Share your Newton multimedia memorabilia !

Gravity Fields/Newtons Footsteps:

…a global social media adventure in the heritage of Sir Isaac Newton….

 Richard White and Ali Pretty

Call for media contributions:


Photographs, scans and audio on the following themes:

Historic Newton

Traces of places and landscapes that Newton would have seen

Newton Knowledge

Interpretations of Newton’s thoughts and discoveries

Newton Memorabilia….how Newton is remembered now

Myths, icons, motifs…statues, brands, signs, plaques

Share Here:

Join the Flickr group, In Newton’s Footsteps and post your images here: https://www.flickr.com/groups/2675383@N21/

Richard White will work with these for a participatory online exhibition a temporary installation at the museum in Grantham.

Early contributions will inform Ali Pretty’s designs for flags for the Newton Tree Party walk.

Workshops at Grantham Museum:  8-13 September

Ali Pretty:  8-13 September

Richard White: 11- 13 September

Join the Festival walks live online or on foot

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Guest Post: Russell Newton and Mr Newton’s New Perspective

The Newton Tree Party would like to welcome a special series of contributions from historian Russell Newton. Russell is a descendant of Isaac Newton’s uncle, Robert Newton and is currently researching a revisionist autobiography that retraces Isaac Newton’s life from a fresh perspective. Turning away from the detail of his scientific and mathematical work Russell’s work has focussed on the everyday aspects of Newton’s life, including his familial relations, his household, friends, and areas of his life that have so far remained unnoticed. Alongside this Russell is also researching a phd at Durham University on Isaac Newton’s cousins, the baronets of Culverthorpe Hall.

Russell’s research has helped form the Newton’s Footsteps project that retraces Newton’s life and family connections in the local landscape. Here he shares some fascinating research from his forthcoming book – Mr Newton’s New Perspective.

Russell Newton and community members exploring Isaac Newton's family connections in South Kesteven.

Russell Newton and community members exploring Isaac Newton’s family connections in South Kesteven.



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Mr Newton’s New Perspective: Skillington – a schoolroom in an old house

Late in his life, whilst an old man then living in London, Isaac recounted a scene to his nephew John Conduitt the story of his early days at school: He recounted how he:

“..went to two little day schools at Killingworth and Stoke till he was 12 years old”

and also that:

“…when he was but nine year old & went to school to Killingworth over Woolstrope Common he could see Grantham Spire like a stick which was six miles off.”

We have been examining small statements from the past, looking as closely as we possibly can to see what can be revealed, which is more than the statements alone will tell us. This micro-history technique is a little like detective work, a painstaking exercise of discovering & piecing together disparate clues; and using deductive logic to paint a fuller picture of what is otherwise lost to us. It has a habit of throwing up fascinating and useful details that would otherwise be unobtainable.

As we begin to examine Isaac’s statements we can be sure that John Conduit mis-remembered the place names when he wrote his notes up. “Killingworth” is in fact “Skillington”, a small parish which lies a mile or so to the west of Woolsthorpe on the border with Leicestershire where Isaac lived as a small boy. We can be sure of this because it is over the common from Woolsthorpe (Woolstrope) and about six miles from Grantham, and there is no Killingworth in Lincolnshire.

It is possible today to walk in Isaac’s young footsteps, as he truged his way to the little day school. Modern ordinance survey maps show the old footpath running between Colsterworth and Skillington passing right alongside Woolsthorpe manor. We can also see, by comparing the modern map with the medieval field boundaries of Woolsthorpe manor (set out in the enclosure awards of 1808) that the footpath runs across Woolsthorpe Middle field and along the edge of the “Lings Common” across Crabtree Road next to the site of an old post windmill, and along what is now Mill Lane, across Cringle Brook and into the settlement. [how long would the walk take] [what can he see – depends on time of year]

Isaac tells us that he was nine when he went to Skillington day school. He was born on Christmas day 1642 so he was nine for almost all of 1651. His story of Grantham spire is interesting. It was famous for being very tall, which is probably why he mentioned it; and as he arrived at school each morning he could have looked north and seen it. At least that was until a year later in 1652, when it was struck by lightning. The spire burnt down, and it was not rebuilt until after 1661 when money was raised by the Grantham Corporation. Isaac would have seen the spire before and after the fire – he tells us that he was 12 when his day schooling ended, so some time in 1655.

Isaac had many connections with Skillington already going back a century by the time he went to school there. His great great uncle – the merchant William Newton – lived and died here in 1593 (the register states 1594 but an inquisition jury records the earlier year), and his children were baptized in the parish between 1577-1585. Isaac’s great uncle Richard Newton & his wife Agnes seem to have baptized at least two of his children in the parish church in the decades before Issac

was born, before moving back to Colsterworth by 1617. His aunt Elizabeth Newton (widow of William Woodruffe of Skillington) was remarried to Thomas Christian of this parish with a second family by the time Isaac was born; and his aunt Isabel Newton married John Cooke of Skillington and raised a family in the 1620s and 1630s. There were also two men very close to Isaac’s family. Both were supervisors and witnesses to Isaac father’s will as he lay on his deathbed, and later drew up his inventory. The first was Isaac’s own grandfather James Ayscough, the second was William Denton, who was one of the many step-sons of Isaac’s great great uncle – William Newton.

William Denton was a wealthy landowner and was half brother to Richard Hickson and Thomas Newton, two men who made Sir John Newton very wealthy. William Denton was heavily fined during the civil war for helping to maintain the Royalist garrison at Belvoir castle, about four miles from his house in Skillington. The civil war also saw Isaac’s cousin Sir John Newton, then a schoolboy himself, travelling to Newark to secure the release of his mother Elizabeth who had been taken prisoner from her house in Gonerby, together with a large haul of John’s gold.

When William Denton died in around June 1651 his widow married Robert Price the Rector of Stoke, who we saw in the previous blog was likely to have been Isaac’s schoolmaster there and related by marriage. It is possible that this marriage took Price to Skillington during 1651 and that he took his school and Isaac with him, who was nine for most of that year. This might explain why Isaac was at the two schools. It would interesting to find this marriage in the registers and consult the hearth tax return of 1665/6 to test the this theory.

These stories and many more are documented in Russell Newton’s forthcoming book about Isaac’s life – Mr Newton’s New Perspective. 

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