A west Dorset cider farm has become the proud custodian of one of the most significant trees in scientific history. 

Isaac Cider, based in Beaminster, has successfully secured one of 10 saplings propagated from the apple tree that inspired Sir Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity.

The National Trust and Blue Diamond Garden Centres auctioned the saplings which were then awarded to winners at a presentation ceremony held at Woolsthorpe Manor, the childhood home of Sir Isaac Newton and where he formed the theory of gravity.

The win was extra special for Isaac Cider, which has a link to the famous mathematician and physicist.

Giles Wood, from Isaac Cider, said: "‘As soon as the family heard about the Newton sapling auction, we just knew that we had to have one.

"Our family is descended from Sir Isaac’s sister, Hannah, so this was a marvellous opportunity to reach back into the history of our family.

"We have a cider apple farm near Beaminster, West Dorset, and have been growing apples for 80 years, but concerned at the direction the production of cider was going, decided in 2020 to start our own family craft cider company. It had to be called Isaac Cider.

"We are thrilled to have a sapling and it will become the centrepiece of our shop at the farm and will enable us to educate more people on the life and works of our ancestor. "

The apple tree that inspired Sir Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity can still be seen at his birthplace, Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire.

Now cared for by the National Trust, the country cottage is visited by thousands of people every year, wishing to see the spot where one of the greatest scientific discoveries took place.

The tree first put down roots around 400 years ago and people have travelled to visit it as Newton’s Apple Tree for at least the past 240 years.

The auction raised over £30K, of which Blue Diamond is donating 50 per cent to the National Trust, specifically for the ongoing care of Woolsthorpe Manor.

Andy Jasper, director of Gardens and Parklands at the National Trust, said: “Interest in the auction was phenomenal with Blue Diamond receiving more than 1,800 inquiries from potential bidders.

"It was wonderful to see that so many people and organisations understood the rarity of this moment and wanted to be custodians of such a significant tree.”