The Linconshire-based Gravity Fields Festival takes place every two years and creatively explores the physical sciences through science, arts and heritage events and celebrates the area’s close links with one of the world’s greatest thinkers, Sir Isaac Newton.
Research into the villages, churches and paths that Newton and his family would have known culminated in two long-distance ‘In Newton’s Foosteps’ walks following the footsteps of Newton and his family during September’s Gravity Fields Festival to celebrate the life and legacy of Sir Isaac Newton.
The two walks were devised and led by Ali Pretty, textile artist, designer and creative brain, and Richard White, a supreme exponent of exploring where and how the physical and the virtual meet via social media ... a perfect addition to the associated Newton Tree Party social media genealogy project to find Newtons everywhere!
The walks were spiced by factual Newton data supplied by historian Russell Newton, himself related to Isaac Newton. The project overall was a successful collaboration of local community members and volunteers as part of the Lincolnshire's Age of Scientific Discovery project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund to research 17th century Lincolnshire philosophers.
Richard White explains: "Following a community meeting of a diverse group of people, all Newton experts in their way, we identified a series of locations that Newton would have seen and might have walked to. We worked out some possible routes using Viewranger, recced them on foot and with a device running ViewRanger.
The routes were finalised for our first public walk in which we gathered photographs and visual motifs and then formally inaugurated in the two walks during the Gravity Fields festival.
We used Viewranger for planning and route making in the development stage and then for tracking social media to create a social media trail in the delivery phase.
The first time I did this and got the social media trail up I was astonished, pure magic! Capturing an ephemeral experience and extending the present of a transitory moment. Excellent, keep up the good work.
Viewranger integrates beautifully with Social Hiking with which we link up a whole load of social media sources and can collectively hook up a social media trail."
In Newton's Footsteps - Day 1 - Download the route here and follow it yourself!
One walk started in Grantham, where Newton was educated at the King’s School, and wound its way to the St John the Baptist Church in Colsterworth, where he was baptised and where his mother was buried.
In Newton's Footsteps - Day 2 - Download the route here and follow it yourself!
The next day walkers set off from nearby Woolsthorpe Manor, where Isaac was born, spent his formative years and developed some of his most important theories, on to the village where he attended a dame school, and tracing footpaths back to Grantham.