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Written by David Singmaster (zingmast@sbu.ac.uk ). Links to relevant external websites are being added occasionally to this gazetteer but the BSHM has no control over the availability or contents of these links. Please inform the BSHM Webster (A.Mann@gre.ac.uk) of any broken links.

[When the gazetteer was edited for serial publication in the BSHM Newsletter, references were omitted since the bibliography was too substantial to be included. Publication on the web permits references to be included for material now being added to the website, but they are still absent from material originally prepared for the Newsletter - TM, August 2002]

 


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Waddington, Lincolnshire

See under Lincoln, above.


Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Joseph Moxon (1627-1700) was born here. See also under London.


Wallingford, Oxfordshire

Richard of Wallingford (1292?-1336) was born in Wallingford, about 10 miles south-east of Oxford. His father was a blacksmith and Richard learned the practical skills that later enabled him to build instruments. Orphaned in 1303, he was adopted by Prior William of the Benedictine house of Holy Trinity and William sponsored his attendance at Oxford in 1308. See under Oxford and St. Albans, above, for more of his life and work.


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Walton-le-Dale, Lancashire

John Dee and Edward Kelley (or Kelly) are said to have raised a dead person at St. Leonard's Church, Walton-le-Dale, a few miles south of Preston, in c1600 [Dennis Ball, Lancashire Pastimes, published by the author, 1987, p.97]. Benjamin Franklin set up the first lightning rods at Cooper Hall, near Walton-le-Dale, in 1770 [B. Bailey, p.91].


Walton-on-Thames, Surrey

There is a plaque to the noted 17th century astrologer William Lilly in the parish church of St. Mary [Coster (2), p.43].


Ware, Hertfordshire

The new Spear's Games Archive is at Roughground House, Old Hall Green, Ware, Hertfordshire, SG11 1HB; tel/fax: 01920 823071. By appointment. Groups of up to 15 can be accommodated. Francis Spear, after his retirement and the sale of Spear's Games to Mattel, has converted a building to house this lovely archive/display of some 1500 games, toys and puzzles produced by J.W. Spear & Sons, mostly between 1925 and 1980. This is the only extensive display of this type of material that I know of. Free, but donations, especially of relevant material, will be gratefully accepted.


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Warminster, Wiltshire

Longleat House, Warminster, is the home of the Marquis of Bath and was where Greg Bright built Britain's first three-dimensional maze in 1978. It is the world's largest permanent hedge maze. [Pennick, p.163; Fisher, pp.74, 76, 94-95 & 152-153, with colour photos on pp.94-95.] In 1992, the Marquis added a Maze of Love, and in 1996, he had Randall Coate design a maze and a labyrinth (i.e. a unicursal maze) based on the Daedalus legend, including considerable erotic symbolism of Pasiphae and the bull! In 1998(?) Adrian Fisher designed and installed a fine mirror maze.

In Warminster, the Grammar School has a doorway designed by Christopher Wren for Longleat [Child, p. 42].


Warrington, Cheshire

There is an Institute of Physics plaque to Joseph Priestley in Warrington.


Wearmouth, Tyne & Wear

See Monkwearmouth, above.


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Wellow, Hampshire

See East Wellow, above.


Wells, Somerset

The clock in Wells Cathedral, dates from 1392. The works are running in the Science Museum in London, being the second oldest running clock in the world. They were running here until 1835 and were transferred to the Science Museum in 1871. The marvellous striking jack and jousting horsemen in the north transept are probably original and operate at the quarter hours. [Howgrave-Graham; F.A.B. Ward (2), p.32]

In 1917, Ramanujan stayed briefly at the Mendip Hills Sanatorium, a now ruinous sanatorium in nearby Hill Grove [Rankin (2); Kanigel, p.265].


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Welney, Norfolk

The Old Bedford Level (or River) is one of the great drainage channels through the Cambridgeshire fens into Norfolk. In 1838, Samuel Birley Rowbotham ["Parallax"] made observations along a six mile stretch of this, between Welney and Old Bedford Bridges, which he claimed to show the earth was flat, leading to the formation of the 'Flat Earth Society' which survived until the 1980s! (I'm not sure where Old Bedford Bridge is, but the description seems to imply it is to the south-east of Welney Bridge, though the Old Bedford River runs from south-west to north-east.) Indeed some of the observations were confusing, probably due to ignorance about refraction caused by the air. If one sights along a level stretch of water, the curvature of the earth will conceal objects near the water surface, but Rowbotham regularly saw (with a telescope) barges and other objects at water level six miles away. He described these in his Zetetic Astronomy. In 1870, one of his followers, John Hampden of Swindon, bet £500 that a new experiment would demonstrate the flatness of the earth and Alfred Russel Wallace, the evolutionist, took up the bet, encouraged by Charles Lyell, the geologist. The first experiment was unsatisfactory. They then set up three equally spaced markers at the same height above the water and sighted from the first to the last. The middle marker clearly appeared about 5 ft above the line of sight. Unfortunately the two parties drew different conclusions from this observation, with the 'planists' thinking the position of the telescope crosshair indicated the observer's position. The resulting arguments wound up in court in 1876 where the judges carefully avoided deciding the shape of the earth and ruled that such wagers were not legally binding. Rowbotham explained the observation as a trick of perspective. Hampden became obsessed and conducted a life-long campaign against Wallace, leading to several prosecutions for libel and several prison sentences. In the early twentieth century, Elizabeth Anne Mould Williams, Lady Blount, took up the planist philosophy. In 1904 or 1905, she led an expedition to the Old Bedford Level to disprove Wallace's 'three pole trick'. She hired a competent photographer with a telephoto lens. This was set up two feet above water level and the photographer was surprised to see and photograph an object at water level six miles away and even its reflection in the water. [John Michell, Eccentric Lives and Peculiar Notions, Thames & Hudson, 1984 / Cardinal (Sphere), 1989, pp.21-30, 32 & 34-35.]

Similar observations elsewhere convinced other groups that the earth was curved upward and we were on the inside of a hollow sphere!


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West Bromwich, West Midlands

The firm of George Salter and Co., Ltd., scale and balance makers from c1760, has a historical collection at West Bromwich. [J.T. Graham, Scales and Balances, Shire Album 55, Shire, 1981, p.31]


West Kilbride, North Ayrshire

See Kirtonhall, above.


West Monkton, Somerset

Henry Moseley (1801-1872) was Curate at West Monkton (or Monckton?), near Taunton, from c1828 to 1831. He wrote his A Treatise on Hydrostatics, 1830, here.


West Wickham, Kent

William Burnside went to live in Cotleigh, High St, West Wickham on retiring from the Royal Naval College in 1919. The house is now a branch of HSBC Bank [TM]. West Wickham is now part of the London Borough of Bromley. See entry for Burnside under London.


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Westerham, Kent

This is where Alice Liddell Hargreaves (of Alice in Wonderland) died [Jackman].


Westerton, Co. Durham

See: Byers Green, above.


Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset

J. Norman Lockyer (1836-1920) was a teacher here for some time.


Wetherby, West Yorkshire

The National Lending Library is in Walton, on the outskirts of Wetherby.


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Weymouth, Dorset

Henry Gwyn Jeffreys Moseley (1887-1915) was born here. He was a grandson of Henry Moseley (see under West Monkton above).


Wheatley, Oxfordshire

Here there is a pyramidal building which was the village lockup! In the photo, it looks like it might be a hexagonal pyramid - ?? [Burton, pp.125-128.]


Whitburn, Tyne & Wear

Lewis Carroll's cousins, the Misses Wilcox, lived at Whitburn, near Sunderland. One evening, whose date is not recorded, they had a game of verse making and "Jabberwocky" was Carroll's contribution - based on the first verse that he had composed at Croft in 1855. [Green, pp.54-54.] [Myers, p.16] says "Jabberwocky" was written on a visit in 1855, that Mrs Wilcox, the wife of the Collector of Customs at Sunderland, lived at High Croft, since burned down, that he probably composed "The Walrus and the Carpenter" walking on the beaches here or nearby, and that there is a statue of Carroll in Cornthwaite Park, Whitburn. Carroll also had other relatives here - the Collingwoods - whom he also visited. It is possible that from here, he visited nearby Sunderland, where there was a fine walrus in the museum, but it has decayed and only the head remains [Myers, p.16].


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Whitby, North Yorkshire

Captain Cook lived in Whitby for some time and the house at 16 Grape Lane where he was an apprentice has a plaque. There is a statue of him at the east end of North Terrace on West Cliff, the first statue of him to be erected. [Blue Guide]

Lewis Carroll spent his vacation from Oxford in summer 1854 at Whitby where he published his first two pieces in the Whitby Gazette.


Whitchurch, Buckinghamshire

John Bonnycastle (c1750-1821) was born here.


Whitelee, Lancashire

See Higham, above. I can't locate Whitelee in my atlases.


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Whitton, Northumberland

At Whitton, just south of Rothbury, is Sharpe's Folly, a 30 ft high tower observatory built by Archdeacon Thomas Sharpe, Prebendary of Durham, in 1720 [Barton, pp.138-139, with photo].


Wicklow, Co. Wicklow

Robert C. Halpin (1836-1894) was the captain of the Great Eastern for the laying of the first successful Atlantic Cable in 1865-1866 (the 1858 cable only worked for a month, so was not really a success). He came fromWicklow, where there is an obelisk and a memorial in the church. His home, Tinakilly House, is now a hotel, but has some mementoes. [MGG]


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Widecombe in the Moor, Devon

The late 14C Church of St. Pancras, Widecombe(sometimes Widdecombe) in the Moor, has a roof boss of the Tinners' Rabbits. This is the pattern which is the solution of the puzzle: "Draw three rabbits, so that each shall appear to have two ears, while, in fact, they have only three ears between them." The current guide book to the church says it is "a symbol of the Trinity connected with tin-mining." The separate guide book to the roof bosses calls it the "Hunt of Venus" and gives a somewhat tenuous connection: tin is alloyed with copper to make bronze, copper came from Cyprus (the words Cyprus and copper have the same root), Cyprus is the island of Venus or Aphrodite (she was born there), rabbits are symbols of Venus. It mentions that the pattern also occurs at Ashburton. A postcard showing several of the roof bosses, including the Hunt of Venus, is available. Thanks to the Rector, Derek Newport, for information and copies of the guides. I have come across a 1924 guide to the church which says only: "a combination of three rabbits with an ear of each to form a triangle, perhaps a symbol of the Trinity." There is an anagram and a chronogram on a memorial tablet to Mary Elford on the north wall by the door. The anagram is clearly marked: Anagr{MARY ELFORD}{FEAR MY LORD}. The chronogram is in the last three lines which are as follows.

Ao.ætat:}{VIXIt obIIt sVperIs}
MarIa gaLe IohannIs eLforD VXor tertI
(heV) obIIt eX pVerperIo.}{ Erectum fuit.Ao.1650

The chronogram is unusual in that it gives both the age at death, 25, in the first line, and the year, 1641, in the latter two lines.

Tom Greeves ["The Tinners' Rabbits - chasing hares?", Dartmoor Magazine 25 (Winter 1991) 4-6] gives the most extended discussion of the Tinners' Rabbits that I have yet come across. He says that it is claimed to be the emblem of the medieval tinners, and various connections between tinners and rabbits have been adduced, e.g. it is claimed that the pattern was the medieval alchemical symbol for tin. It is also called the "Hunt of Venus" and/or an emblem of the Trinity. However, the earliest reference to the pattern on Dartmoor is an 1856 description of Widecombe Church which only says that the roof was connected with the tinners and that the pattern had an alchemical connection. Later guides to Dartmoor are still pretty vague, e.g. a 1956 writer connects the symbol with copper, not tin. It is not until 1965 that the symbol is specifically called The Tinners' Rabbits. The photographer Chris Chapman has worked with Sue Andrew (researcher) and Tom Greeves (archaeologist
and historian) on The Three Hares Project - see his website (www.chrischapmanphotography.com/) for more information and some wonderful photographs.

There is no particular Dartmoor mythology connected with rabbits, but there is much mythology of hares. Rabbits were introduced to England in 1176 and became common in the thirteenth century, while hares were introduced between 500BCE and 500CE. So it seems likely that the animals are hares. Greeves reproduces and discusses a c1600 picture showing the three rabbits pursued by three hounds as part of a symbol of Venus. (continues below)


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Greeves examined almost all the churches in the area and discovered roof bosses with the pattern in the following 12 churches: Bridford, Broadclyst (8 examples from 1833 said to be careful copies of medieval bosses), Chagford (2 examples), Iddesleigh, Ilsington, North Bovey, Sampford Courtenay (2 examples), South Tawton, Spreyton, Tavistock, Throwleigh, Widecombe. These are all on the east side of Dartmoor or to the north, except Tavistock which is on the west side and Broadclyst which is some 20 miles further east. Bridford, Iddesleigh, Sampford Courtenay and Spreyton have no significant tin-mining connections. No examples are known from the much more important tin-mining area of Cornwall, but Greeves has now found an example at Cotehele, just over the border into Cornwall.

Greeves then discusses the pattern at Long Melford and Paderborn. He then briefly describes the Dunhuang example, citing [R. Whitfield & A. Farrer, Caves of the Thousand Buddhas, British Museum, 1990, esp. pp.12 & 16], and then the St. Petersburg example. He then notes some modern version: a wooden teapot stand from Scandinavia and a Victorian(?) carving in Holy Trinity, Fareham, Hampshire.

In a letter of 3 June 1997, Greeves says he has located further examples of the three rabbits in Cheriton Bishop and Paignton in Devon, Cotehele in Cornwall and in Wales, Scarborough (North Yorkshire, cf above), France, Germany, Switzerland, Bohemia and modern China, where the pattern is still woven into carpets! He tells me that a student went to Dunhuang recently and the locals told her that the pattern came from 'the West', which denotes India! (continues below)


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Paul Hambling [The Dartmoor Stannaries, Orchard Publications, Newton Abbott, 1995, pp.38-39] gives a short summary of Greeves' work. He adds that a story is that the tinners adopted the rabbit as their emblem in allusion to their common underground mode of life. Tinners are also said to have been responsible for some rabbit warrens, but there were lots of other warrens and they would have been too common to be specifically associated with the tinners. He notes that the symbol of three intertwined fishes was a common Christian symbol.

Another connection is given by the leaflet on the tapestry 'Chagford through the ages' at Chagford church which asserts that a 'rabbit' was a tool used in tin-mining - this seems to be a new story.


Wilton, Wiltshire

Wilton House, Wilton, near Salisbury, is the seat of the Earl of Pembroke. After a fire in 1647, the house was rebuilt by Inigo Jones and has a fine Double Cube Room and Single Cube Room. The edge of the cubes is 30 ft [Child, p.122]. The Double Cube Room contains a late seventeenth-century table with inlays of playing cards and money thrown down on the table. The Little Ante Room has a Lucas van Leyden picture The Card Players. There is a bust of Francis Bacon in the Stairway. The younger half-brother of the 12th Earl was Sidney Herbert, Secretary of War during the mid nineteenth century and the supporter of Florence Nightingale. He occupied the House since his brother lived abroad and so there is some Nightingale memorabilia here, including a nice bust and a sash (of the type?) she wore at Scutari.


Wimborne Minster, Dorset

In the Minster is an 'orrery clock' from about 1400 with a striking jack [Frederick Treves, Highways & Byways in Dorset, Macmillan, London, 1906, p.116].


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Wimborne St. Giles, Dorset

In the parish church is the tomb of Sir Anthony Ashley (1551-1627/8), which has a handsome framework truncated icosahedron. This has its faces filled in to make a solid shape, but with the edges much raised up like a picture frame. Ashley was Clerk to the Privy Council shortly after Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer's Spiegel der Zeevaert appeared and he translated it into English as The Mariners Mirror of 1588 - Pepys owned a copy [Pepys, 19 September 1666]. Otherwise, his life was that of a high official with some naval connections, but no mathematical connections. [E.G.R. Taylor, pp.327-328; DNB] This truncated icosahedron has already been discovered by the chemists - my informant has sent me a postcard describing it as a 'buckyball' and advertising a book about the discovery of this form of Carbon 60. See also Salisbury, above, for a similar tomb.

I have now visited Wimborne St. Giles. The tomb is substantial and was erected by Ashley's son-in-law, whose son became the first Earl of Shaftesbury. The Shaftesburys still live nearby and the church is their local church and is a good deal larger than I expected. The tomb is behind the altar screen so one has to find someone with the key, e.g. John, the organist, who lives in the cottage by the gateway at the end of the public roadway. The polyhedron is supported on a platform held on a pair of hands projecting from the foot of the tomb at the feet of the effigies of Ashley and his wife. It is about 15" (40 cm) in diameter. A guide to the church by A.T.P. Cooper is available and gives three local stories about the polyhedron. Ashley is said, by John Evelyn, to have been among the first to import cabbage seed from the New World and grow them in England - the 'sphere of hexagons' is thought to be a 'heraldic cabbage'. The DNB cites a contemporary account by Nichols for the fact that he was the first to grow cabbages in England. Consulting a book on the history of food reveals that the cabbage is thought to be a native of northern Europe and was well known to the Greeks and the Romans, so I find Evelyn's and Nichols' assertions surprising - perhaps they are referring to some other, cabbage-like, plant, or perhaps it was an improved variety which people could eat. In any case, the polyhedron doesn't look at all like a cabbage to me. A second story is that it is a 'heraldic sphere' commemorating his navigational work. Thirdly, Ashley had been the Queen's representative at the sacking of Cadiz, where he was knighted, but he seems to have felt his rewards were not adequate and he made off with a quantity of treasure, including a great diamond which he sold to London jewellers and which may be represented by the polyhedron. (continues below)


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The second story is clearly the most likely, though I doubt if anyone really confused the polyhedron with a sphere. All of the polyhedra at Salisbury and Wimborne St. Giles were in the work of Pacioli/Da Vinci and this was widely known throughout Europe, and the use of such drawings or sculptures would have been a mark of an educated man, particularly someone with a training in geometry as was the case with Gorges and Ashley who were navigators. [The truncated icosahedron appears in Piero della Francesca (not published until the twentieth century), Pacioli/da Vinci (1509), Barbaro (1568, 1569) and Kepler (1619) which would have been widely known to astronomers and navigators, etc.] Unfortunately Mr. Cooper was not in when I visited, but the organist was not aware of the polyhedra in Salisbury, though it is only 16 miles from Wimborne St. Giles. The nearness in distance and in time between the two tombs makes me wonder if they might have been built or designed by the same person, who might have been the source of the idea of using the shapes. Indeed, because the dates of the two tombs are not definitely known to me, I'm not sure which was built first. The builder of one tomb may have seen the other and said 'I'll have a bit like that'. Or perhaps the polyhedron commemorates his invention of the football (= soccer ball) - a little known fact which I have just made up.

I recently showed slides of both tombs at a conference on mathematics and art, but no one volunteered knowledge of any other examples of the use of polyhedra in this way. If anyone can provide more information on the above examples or on other examples, I would be delighted to hear from them.

John Locke was physician and friend to the first Earl of Shaftesbury and tutor to the third Earl. Indeed he saved the life of Lord Ashley before he became the first Earl. In 1668, a long standing ailment flared up and it seemed that Ashley might die. Locke took charge of the attending physicians and they decided to operate, draining a large quantity of pus from the liver and inserting a silver drainage tube to continue the drainage. The cause was a suppurating hydatid cyst on the liver and Locke gave the first detailed description of this. He was a regular visitor to Wimborne St. Giles.


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Winchester, Hampshire

Winchester has one of England's oldest schools, founded by William of Wykeham (1324-1404), Bishop of Winchester who also founded New College, Oxford. He is buried in the Chantry Chapel of the Cathedral. [Greenwood (2), pp.164-165 with photo on p.165.] Samuel Morland, G.H. Hardy and W.S. Gosset ("Student") were students here [Sandon]. Hardy was first in the scholarship competition in 1890, but the school treated him so atrociously that he never returned nor attended a reunion. Indeed, he would never eat mutton, which the school served five days per week [Kanigel, pp.112, 120, 124]. C.V. Durell was mathematics master from 1905 until his retirement in the 1940s [Maxwell]. C.H.O'D. (Hugh) Alexander taught mathematics here c1930. Freeman J. Dyson was a student to 1941 [Kanigel, pp.339 & 368]. The puzzle writer, Eric Revell Emmet, was a teacher here.

Wren designed a palace for Charles II at Winchester and construction started in 1683, but was abandoned on the King's death in 1685. The half-finished building was used as a barracks, but burned down in the 1890s. [Summerson, p.118]


Windscale, Cumbria

Windscale (since renamed Sellafield) is the site of the UK's main nuclear reprocessing plant. About 1950, Eugene Wigner (1902-1995) showed that irradiated graphite can suddenly self-anneal and release a large amount of energy in a potentially hazardous situation. Despite being informed of this 'Wigner effect', the UK failed to take account of it, leading to the Windscale fire in 1957 (and the consequent change of name!). [Anthony Tucker, "Beauty and the Bomb" [obituary], The Guardian (6 Jan 1995) 17]


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Windsor, Berkshire

Chaucer was Master of the Works at Windsor Castle in 1390 and may have lived in the Winchester Tower [Eastman, p.191.] He was in charge of restoring St. George's Chapel, but he seems to have been here for only two years. [B.J.W. Hill, Windsor and Eton, Batsford, London, 1957, p.41]

The family of Christopher Wren (1632-1723) moved to Windsor in 1635 before he was two. His father was Dean of Windsor in 1635-1659, and Christopher grew up at the Deanery, near St. George's Chapel in the middle of Windsor Castle. It was here, via the court connections, that he met John Wilkins. His older sister's husband, a Rev. William Holder, introduced Wren to mathematics when he was 11. In 1678 or 1675, he drew up a plan (now at All Souls' library, Oxford) for a mausoleum for Charles I, but it was never built [Hill, ibid., pp.90-91 & 100]. In 1681, he surveyed St. George's Chapel in the Castle and found it in need of major repairs [Hill, ibid., pp.66-67]. He was Controller of Works at the Castle from 1684, carrying out major works to rectify the structural problems, though these were not always permanently successful. His plans for conversion to an Italian style palace were never implemented.

Wren completed the Windsor Guildhall in 1689-1690 after the original architect died. Legend says that the Corporation thought it was unsafe and insisted that Wren insert some pillars to hold up the Council Chamber which was over the open Cornmarket. Wren inserted pillars, but they were a little short and never reached the beams above. Versions of this story are attached to several of Wren's works, particularly the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford and the Cloisters in the Temple, London. A somewhat different version concerns a chain around the dome of St. Paul's, which Wren omitted to join up. (A similar story is told about Brunelleschi and the Dome of the Cathedral of Florence.) Some months ago, I recalled the story of the short pillars as being about the Temple Cloisters in London, but was unable to track it down, getting the other versions instead. However, I have found [Kent, pp.206-207], who quotes a passage from a somewhat undependable biographer of Wren about Windsor and a report for Transactions of the London & Middlesex Archaeological Society saying that they had examined the pillars in the Temple Cloisters and not found the legendary gap. However, the Windsor story seems to be true - I have found it in the Official Guide to Windsor, in the Official Handbook of the Guildhall and Exhibition and in a tourist leaflet - though none states the story outright. [Hill, op. cit., p.101] gives the story and says there is no documentary evidence, "nevertheless, the needless columns still remain as silent witnesses", which seems to imply that they are really there. [Christopher Turner, Windsor and Eton Step by Step, Faber, 1986, p.48] says "It can be seen, however, that they don't quite reach the ceiling", which certainly implies that they are still there.

See also Datchet, above.


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Wing, Rutland

C.V. Boys was born at the Rectory in Wing.


Winslow, Buckinghamshire

See Middle Claydon, above.


Woking, Surrey

Alan Turing was cremated at Woking Crematorium, and his ashes scattered in the gardens. There is no memorial. [Hodges, p.529]

Between Woking and Knaphill, H.E. Dudeney lived at 'Littlewick Meadow' from the 1890s to 1911. He played the organ in nearby Woodham Church.


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Woodbridge, Suffolk

Frank Morley, of Morley's Theorem, was born here. Airy, who was a neighbour at Playford, encouraged him to go to Cambridge. See also Boulge and Playford, above. [Morley, pp.17 & 19-20]

There is a cart-weighing steelyard in Woodbridge [J.T. Graham, Scales and Balances, Shire Album 55, Shire, 1981, p.20; Burton, pp.266-268]. The only other UK example extant is at Soham, qv above.


Woodstock, Oxfordshire

The legendary Rosamund's Bower was located in Woodstock Park, NNW of Oxford, and its purported site is marked by a well and fountain. It was some sort of maze to conceal Rosamund (de) Clifford, the mistress of Henry II (1133 1189), from the Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Legend says that about 1176, Eleanor managed to solve the maze and confronted Rosamund with the choice of a dagger or poison - she drank the poison and Henry never smiled again. [Fisher, p.105]. Historically, Henry had imprisoned Eleanor for fomenting rebellion by her sons and Rosamund was his acknowledged mistress. Rosamund probably spent her last days at a nunnery in Godstow, near Oxford [Headlam, p.62], though [David Sharp, The Thames Path, Aurum Press, London, corrected reprint, 1997, p.60] says she was brought back here for burial after a mysterious death. The legend of the bower dates from the fourteenth century and her murder is a later addition [A. Frederick Collins, The Book of Puzzles, Appleton, NY, 1927, p.121]. In the nineteenth century, there were many occurrences of a maze called Rosamund's Bower.

Thomas Chaucer, son of Geoffrey, is said to have lived in a house on the site of Chaucer's House, Park Street, Woodstock. The poet is said to have stayed here at various times. [Eastman, p.191]

Blenheim Palace, at Woodstock, is the seat of the Churchills, Dukes of Marlborough, and Winston Churchill was born in a cloakroom here when he arrived a bit early during a ball. In the grounds is the Marlborough Maze, designed by Randall Coate and Adrian Fisher in 1991 and claimed to be the world's largest symbolic hedge maze [Fisher, pp.105, 152-153, with colour photos on p.104; Palace leaflet].


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Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire

See Grantham, above.


Worle, North Somerset

At Worle, just east of Weston-Super-Mare, is Worle Observatory, built by a Mr. Baker in 1870, though my source is not clear if this was ever used to observe stars [Barton, pp.175-176, with photo].


Worstead, Norfolk

See Shotesham All Saints, above.


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Worth, West Sussex

Worth,, near Crawley, is the site of the Crabbett Park Arabian Stud, developed by Anne Lovelace Blunt. [Martin O'Neill, West Sussex Literary & Artistic Links, West Sussex County Council, Chichester, 1993, p.6]


Wrexham, North Wales

Elihu Yale (1648-1721) was born in the USA but went to India in 1672 and became Governor of Madras (cf under India in Section 10). He retired to Plas Grono, about 2 miles south of Wrexham, and made donations to many charitable causes, including St. Paul's School (in London?), St. Giles Church, Wrexham, and a struggling college in New Haven, Connecticut, subsequently named in his honour. He is buried in the churchyard of St. Giles, Wrexham, west of the tower (photo in [B. Bailey, p.58]). The iron screen and the painting in the ante-nave are supposed to be donations of his. Yale University restored the tower in 1901 to commemorate the bicentenary of the institution (plaque inside) and restored the tomb in 1968 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Yale's donation. A replica of the church tower was built at Yale in the 1920s. See Plas-yn-Yale above. At Erddig, a stately house about 2 miles south of Wrexham, there is a Chinese Coromandel screen sent by Yale from India. Plas Grono was adjacent to the park of Erddig, but was demolished in 1876. [Beazley & Howell, pp.65-66 & 71-72; Timpson, p.193, with photo of the tomb.]

Near the lectern of St. Giles is a bust of Lady Margaret Beaufort (1443-1509), an earlier educational benefactor - she founded Christ's College and St. John's College, both in Cambridge.


Wrington, North Somerset

John Locke (1632-1704) was born here. Another source says Pensford, about 7 miles east of Wrington.



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Written by David Singmaster. Last updated on 28th February 2003 by TM (A.Mann@gre.ac.uk). Copyright © BSHM and David Singmaster 1998 - 2003. All rights reserved.


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