The Wold Cottage meteorite (also called the Wold Newton meteorite) fell near to Wold Cottage farm in 1795, a few miles away from the hamlet of Wold Newton in Yorkshire, England.
The meteorite 
The stone fell at around 3 O'clock, on 13 December 1795, it created a crater approximately 1 yard (0.91 m) across, and embedded itself in the underlying chalk rock to a depth of 7 inches (180 mm), passing through 12 inches (300 mm) of topsoil. The fall was observed by several people, who described a dark body passing through the air. As discovered at its landing point the stone was warm and smoking; several people reported sounds of explosions as it fell. The owner of the land was Major Edward Topham, a well known public figure, an-ex soldier, playwright and newspaper proprietor; he publicised the find and exhibited the meteorite publically at Picadilly in London.
The stone initially weighed 56 pounds (25 kg). James Sowerby, a naturalist, acquired the meteorite in 1804. The meteorite was later acquired by the British Museum in 1835.
Analysis and research 
Early analyses recorded two parts of the stone, an earthy part, and a malleable part. The earthy part analysed as containing silicon, magnesium, iron, and a small amount of nickel, of which some parts of the iron and nickel were in the elemental state; the earthy substance was similar to kaolin (weathered feldspar), but relatively tough. The malleable parts also contained iron and nickel, the majority iron. A form of iron pyrites (iron sulfur compound) was also reported present. Modern science records the meteorite as a L6 ordinary chondrite.
The Wold Cottage meteorite was the largest meteorite observed to fall in Britain, and is the second largest recorded in Europe (after the Ensisheim meteorite). The meteorite and evidence given about its fall contributed to the debate concerning whether extraterrestrial matter existed or not, and towards the early scientific study of meteorites.
The monument 
The Wold Newton meteorite monument
|On this Spot, Decr. 13th, 1795
|Fell from the Atmoſphere
|AN EXTRAORDINARY STONE
|In Breadth 28 inches
|In Length 36 inches
|Whoſe Weight was 56 pounds.
|In Memory of it
|Was erected by
A monument was erected on the location of the stone's impact, by Major Topham, on whose property the stone had fallen. The structure was built of brick 4 ft (1.2 m) square and 25 ft (7.6 m) high, with a plaque on one face.
In fiction 
The event was used by the science fiction writer Philip José Farmer in his "biographies" of fictional characters (Tarzan Alive and Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life) as the basis for a literary premise commonly referred to as the Wold Newton family. The film Robinson in Ruins would also refer to the event, with the main character, Robinson, seeing it showing meteorites always fall at the time of significant events, in this case the 1795 amendment to the Settlement Act which allowed capitalism to develop faster in England.
See also 
- ^ a b Meteoritical Bulletin Database: Wold Cottage
- ^ a b c d Marvin, U.B. (2006), "Meteorites in history: an overview from the Renaissance", in McCall, G.J.H.; Bowden, A.J., The History of Meteoritics and Key Meteorite Collections: Fireballs, Falls and Finds, Geological Society, pp. 39–40, ISBN 1-86239-194-7
- ^ SOWERBY, JAMES (1757–1822), The Vauxhall Society, archived from the original on 24 January 2008, retrieved 13 November 2012
- ^ Howard, E.; Williams, J. L.; De Bournon, C. (1802). "Experiments and Observations on Certain Stony and Metalline Substances, Which at Different Times are Said to Have Fallen on the Earth; Also on Various Kinds of Native Iron". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 92: 168. doi:10.1098/rstl.1802.0009.
- ^ Sources:
- ^ Commemorative monument recording fall of a meteorite, erected 1799 (79897). PastScape. English Heritage. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
- Pillinger, C. T.; Pillinger, J. M. (January 1996), "The Value of Publicity—The Wold Cottage Chondrite, Edward Topham, and the Foundation of Meteoritics", Meteoritics & Planetary Science 31: A108
- Pillinger, C. T.; Pillinger, J. M. (August 1996), "The Wold Cottage meteorite: Not just any ordinary chondrite", Meteoritics 31: 589–605
- Pillinger, C. T.; Pillinger, J. M. (July 1998), "Wold Cottage and Its Influence on Reports of the Pettiswood and Evora Meteorites", Meteoritics & Planetary Science 33: A123
- Sowerby, James (1806), "Tab. CI. FERRUM nativum. Meteroic Iron", British mineralogy, or, Coloured figures intended to elucidate the mineralogy of Great Britain 2, pp. 1–19
External links 
- "(search) "Wold"", piclib.nhm.ac.uk (Natural History Museum), Images related to the Wold Cottage Meteorite and monument