University of Nottingham - logo
Periodic Table of Nottingham


Nottingham element: Bramley Apple

The nation’s favourite cooking apple originated in the pretty market town of Southwell 200 years ago.

The first Bramley's Seedling tree grew from pips planted by Mary Ann Brailsford in 1809. The tree in her garden was later included in the purchase of the cottage by a local butcher, Matthew Bramley, in 1846.

In 1856, a local nurseryman, Henry Merryweather, asked if he could take cuttings from the tree and start to sell the apples. Bramley agreed but insisted that the apples should bear his name.

Southwell hosts many celebrations of the Bramley Apple including the Bramley Apple Festival in October.

Scientific element: Barium

Barium is a soft, silvery-white metal, with a slight golden shade when ultrapure.

It was called barium because it was found in barite (barium sulfate) a mineral given its name because of its high density. The Greek barys means heavy.

Alchemists in the early Middle Ages knew about some barium minerals. Smooth pebble-like stones of mineral baryte were found in volcanic rock near Bologna, Italy, and so were called "Bologna stones." Alchemists were attracted to them because if they were heated to redness during the day, they would glow during the night.

Watch and learn

Explore more elements