Newstead Abbey Celebrates Ada Lovelace Day

Newstead Abbey will be celebrating Ada Lovelace Day this weekend to promote the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Ada Lovelace was the daughter of the most famous inhabitant of Newstead Abbey, Lord Byron, and mathematics-loving Annabella Milbanke. She became a mathematician and writer, publishing her notes on ‘Sketch of the Analytical Engine’ in 1843, but died at the age of 36 in 1852. She was buried, at her request, next to Lord Byron at St Mary Magdalene in Hucknall. As the first person to publish elaborate, complex and complete mathematical codes for inventor Charles Babbage’s early mechanical computer, the analytical engine, Lovelace is known as the first computer programmer.

When Ada was 12 she decided she wanted to fly and set about working out how; writing a book of ‘Flyology’. This was a summary of studies carried out on birds and investigations on various materials that could serve as wings including feathers, paper, and silk.

Ada will be remembered at Newstead Abbey this weekend with flying and number activities for the family. Guides in the house will be dressed in Victorian costume and will be happy to talk about Ada Lovelace and Lord Byron. Creative activities based on the Flyology theme will also offer flying fun for the whole family.

Cllr Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Localities said: “Why not pop to Newstead this weekend and find out more about this intriguing character in the story of Lord Byron and the Abbey. Ada Lovelace is also a key figure in the development of mathematics and a fantastic role model. It’s a great opportunity to encourage the family to be creative and to explore ideas about flying. You may even find you have another budding mathematician or scientist on your hands.”

Take part in creative activities themed on Ada Lovelace and Flyology at Newstead Abbey on October 13 and 14 between 10am and 4pm. Usual charges apply. www.newsteadabbey.org.uk

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