The Boilerhouse is located in Grantham, a historic market town with a rich industrial heritage, known for its connections with Sir Isaac Newton and former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.


Grantham is located within the South Kesteven district of Lincolnshire, England. It bestrides the East Coast Main Line railway (London-Edinburgh), the historic A1 main north-south road, and the River Witham. Grantham is located approximately 26 miles (42 km) south of the city of Lincoln, and approximately 24 miles (39 km) east of Nottingham. The resident population at the 2001 census was 34,592 in around 18,000 households, excluding the adjacent village of Great Gonerby. With the housing estates in Londonthorpe and Harrowby Without (around a population of 4,500), this figure would be around 42,000.

The town is best known as the birthplace of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, and the place where Isaac Newton went to school. It is within short walking distance of an ancient Roman road, and was the scene of Oliver Cromwell's first advantage over Royalists during the English Civil War at Gonerby Moor. Grantham is also notable for having the first female police officers in the United Kingdom, in 1914, and producing the first running diesel engine in 1892, and the UK's first tractor in 1896.

Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton FRS (4 January 1643 – 31 March 1727 was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian who is considered by many scholars and members of the general public to be one of the most influential people in human history. His 1687 publication of the Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (usually called the Principia) is considered to be among the most influential books in the history of science, laying the groundwork for most of classical mechanics. In this work, Newton described universal gravitation and the three laws of motion which dominated the scientific view of the physical universe for the next three centuries. Newton showed that the motions of objects on Earth and of celestial bodies are governed by the same set of natural laws by demonstrating the consistency between Kepler's laws of planetary motion and his theory of gravitation, thus removing the last doubts about heliocentrism and advancing the Scientific Revolution.

Newton built the first practical reflecting telescope and developed a theory of colour based on the observation that a prism decomposes white light into the many colours that form the visible spectrum. He also formulated an empirical law of cooling and studied the speed of sound.

In mathematics, Newton shares the credit with Gottfried Leibniz for the development of the differential and integral calculus. He also demonstrated the generalised binomial theorem, developed Newton's method for approximating the roots of a function, and contributed to the study of power series.

Newton remains uniquely influential to scientists, as demonstrated by a 2005 survey of members of Britain's Royal Society asking who had the greater effect on the history of science and made the greater contribution to humankind, Newton or Albert Einstein. Royal Society scientists deemed Newton to have made the greater overall contribution on both.

Isaac Newton was a King's School scholar between 1655 and 1660. As was customary in his time, he carved his signature on the wall of what is today's school library, although the signature has never been confirmed as authentic; visitors from around the world come to view this indication of Newton's education. A replica of the signature is on display in Grantham Museum.


Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS (née Roberts; born 13 October 1925) served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990; she is the only woman to have held either post.

Thatcher spent her childhood in Grantham, where her father owned two grocery shops. She and her older sister were raised in the flat above the larger of the two located near the railway line.

Thatcher's political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation, particularly of the financial sector, flexible labour markets, and the selling off and closing down of state owned companies and withdrawing subsidy to others.

Industrial and Military History


In 1905 Richard Hornsby & Sons of Grantham (founded 1815) invented the revolutionary caterpillar track, for use with Hornsby's oil engines; these engines were developed by Yorkshireman Herbert Akroyd Stuart, from which compression-ignition principle the diesel engine evolved, being manufactured in Grantham from 1892. Although these engines were not wholly compression-ignition derived, later in 1892 a prototype high-pressure version was built at Hornsby's, developed by Thomas Henry Barton OBE - later to be the founder of Nottingham's Barton Transport, whereby ignition was achieved solely (100%) through compression; it ran continuously for six hours, being the first known diesel engine. In the town, Hornsby's built Elsham House (became part of Grantham College) and the Shirley Croft. Their site on Houghton Road was bought from Lord Dysart.


During the famous Dams Raids Royal Air Force (RAF) mission in May 1943, the RAF Bomber Command's No. 5 Group and the operation HQ was in St Vincents, a building which later housed a district council planning department. It was built by Richard Hornsby in 1865, lived in by Richard Hornsby's son, and is now a private house. In 1944 (including D-Day), this was the headquarters for the USAAF's Ninth Air Force's IX Troop Carrier Command, being known as Grantham Lodge. The RAF Regiment was formed (just north of the town in part of Londonthorpe and Harrowby Without) in December 1941 at RAF Belton Park; This had also been the training centre for the Machine Gun Corps in November 1915 in total with Harrowby Camp, they housed 18,000 men. The women's police force was formed locally to control unwarranted women. The RAF Regiment stayed until August 1946, when they left for RAF Honington.


Aveling & Porter of Rochester, Kent, would join with Barford & Perkins of Peterborough to become Aveling-Barford Ltd in 1934, largely due to financial help from Ruston & Hornsby, when both companies had entered administration. The new company took a former site of Hornsbys. During the 1970s it was the town's largest employer with aroung 2,000 employees. It initially prospered but with the sinking market for large dumper trucks and road rollers declined and now, as Barford Construction Equipment, it makes dumpers for construction sites, being owned by Wordsworth Holdings PLC, owned in turn by the entrepreneur Duncan Wordsworth. A trailer company, Crane-Fruehauf, has moved into part of the factory, from its former home of Dereham, when it went into receivership in early 2005. In March 2010, Wordsworth Holdings went into administration. Their agricultural division was based at Belton, which in 1947 developed the world's smallest tractor, the Barford Atom, weighing 177 lbs.


British Manufacture and Research Company (or BMARC), on Springfield Road, made munitions notably the Hispano cannon for the Spitfire and Hurricane from 1937 onwards. It was owned by the Swiss company Oerlikon from 1971 until 1988, becoming part of Astra Holdings plc then being bought by British Aerospace in 1992, who then closed the site. It has now been developed as a housing estate. The site's former offices are now business units for the Springfield Business Centre, near to The Boilerhouse. Grantham's register office was moved there in 2007, due to the catering service being up to wedding reception standard, and Berketex Bride is based there.


The main local landmark is the parish church of St Wulfram's (pictured left), which has the sixth highest spire (282 ft) among English churches. It is the second tallest church in Lincolnshire after St James Church in Louth, and is also home to the country's first public library.

To the west of the town near the A607 and close to The Boilerhouse site is the building of Baird's maltings (formerly owned by Moray Firth until 1999, and R & W Paul before them). Other maltings in the town have been converted for residential use such as Riverview Maltings near the river and formerly owned by Lee & Grinling’s.

The George Hotel (known as St Peter's Place, now the George Shopping Centre) was mentioned in Charles Dickens's novel Nicholas Nickleby. Also in the town is the Blue Pig, one of many Blue pubs. Much of the town's property and industrial estates have been owned by Buckminster Trust Estates since the time of the Earl of Dysart.

Grantham House is a town house, built in 1380, owned by the National Trust.

Grantham Museum is located at St Peter's Hill, Grantham, Lincolnshire, England. It is run by Lincolnshire County Council  in the building provided for it in 1926, although the idea of a museum can be traced back to meetings of the Grantham Scientific society in the 1890s.[1] The building also housed the public library, and was partly funded by the Carnegie UK Trust  which was continuing Andrew Carnegie's project of building libraries. The Library is now situated elsewhere in the town, and the museum occupies the whole building. The basis of the collection is material provided by Henry Preston, the first Curator and Founder, and 20th century additions have included material about Sir Isaac Newton and Margaret Thatcher. There is also material about the Dambusters Raid. Current acquisitions policy concentrates only on local material. The museum is open Monday - Saturday 10am - 4pm, and admission is free.





The text on this page is adapted from articles on Wikipedia