Erasmus Darwin was born in Elston in 1731, five miles southwest of Newark in Nottinghamshire, and he worked as a physician, first in Lichfield and later in Derby. He investigated topics such as physics, chemistry, geology, meteorology, plant growth, nutrition and biology; he was also a keen poet whose 1792 work Botanic Garden was much admired by the Romantic poets, particularly Coleridge. As a member of the Lunar Society, he joined with friends such as Mathew Boulton, Joseph Priestley and James Watt to develop and promote Birmingham's new industrial technology, and his thoughts on evolutionary biology were the catalyst for his grandson, Charles Darwin's, famous treatise On the Origin of Species.
The Erasmus Darwin House was derelict 15 years ago and was only brought to life as a museum in 1999 following donations from, among others, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the European Development Fund.
Not a great deal is known about the house during Darwin's residence, apart from the fact the cellars were said to have been the scene of post-mortems carried out on executed criminals for educational and experimentation purposes though. It is clear that he was responsible for the way
The old semi-circular moat around the Close was still visible at this time, so Darwin built a bridge of shallow steps and Chinese paling from his front door to the pavement, clearing the bottom to make a terrace planted with lilac and roses.
On our last visit to this fantastic historical location we were thrilled to make contact with a young man who claimed to have he had been a scholar working under the supervision of Dr Darwin when he contracted a disease from one of the patients and succumbed at the age of 18.,
We also heard a young child giggling in the room whilst we were having a vigil. We also had lots of other activity such as ghostly rapping's on the table and cold breezes blowing on our hands, where no noticeable breeze was around. Join the Simply Ghost Nights team as they enter the spectral world of Erasmus House.