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Periodic Table of Nottingham


Nottingham element:

Founded as a Cistercian monastery in the 12th Century, Rufford Abbey came into being about the same time that Robin Hood may have roamed nearby Sherwood Forest.  

When Henry VIII closed the English abbeys, its buildings, watermills, fields and farms were granted to George Talbot, the Earl of Shrewsbury.  Later, it passed by marriage to the Yorkshire Savile family, and grew from a hunting lodge into a magnificent country house.

On the eve of the Second World War, Rufford Abbey was sold, and passed through the hands of various owners.  Requisitioned for wartime use, it housed cavalry offices, a tank regiment and later Italian prisoners of war.  Stripped of its fine interiors, furnishings and land, by the late 1950s it languished. Wartime damage, coal mining subsidence and neglect left the Abbey and its grounds in a sorry state.  

In 1957 Nottinghamshire County Council bought the house and the remains of its gardens, later opening them as a country park.  

Though sadly, most of the building had to be demolished, the original abbey undercroft, the Jacobean wing and many historic garden features remain for today's visitors to explore.


Scientific element: Rutherfordium

Rutherfordium was discovered by a team of researchers working at the Nuclear Institute in Dubna, Soviet Union.

Although the Dubna team claimed discovery in 1964, an independent team at Berkley also claimed discovery in 1969.

Despite the dispute over who is responsible for the discovery, the IUPAC gave credit to the Berkley team and therefore designated their name for the element.

It was named after New Zealand chemist Ernest Rutherford, who became known as the father of nuclear physics and was one of the first to explain the structure of atoms.

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