Market Harborough Historical Society’s nomination for William Henry Bragg to be given one of Leicestershire County Council’s green plaques, to be attached to Catherwood House was, in May 2015 successful in a public vote.
An unveiling ceremony took place on Thursday, June 16th 2016 attended by representatives from the Bragg family, Market Harborough Historical Society, Leicestershire County Council, Institute of Physics and Sir Edward Garnier MP.
Something to Bragg about
David Johnson (Chairman Market Harborough Historical Society) explains the significance of this award:
Market Harborough doesn’t do enough to promote its heritage. Yes, there is the famous spire of St Dionysius church, the quirky Old Grammar School and the refurbished Canal Basin. But nestling in its fourteenth-century High Street, opening out onto the Square, are a number of special buildings, all with a story to tell. One of these is Catherwood House, currently occupied by Café Nero, built in 1876 on the site of a former vicarage which was damaged by a fire in the neighbouring tannery.
I am particularly pleased that Market Harborough Historical Society’s nomination for William Henry Bragg to be given one of Leicestershire County Council’s green plaques, to be attached to Catherwood House, has been successful in a public vote.
His uncle, also called William Bragg, had arrived in the town in 1851, and was a pharmacist and grocer with a shop on the bottom corner of Adam & Eve Street. He purchased the old Vicarage, had it demolished, and built Catherwood House as his private house. Its Venetian, Neo-Gothic style, a sensation at the time, is still a distinctive building on the Square.
William Henry Bragg came from Cumberland in 1869 to live with his uncle after his mother died, when he was only seven years old. William Henry enrolled as a pupil at the Old Grammar School in the centre of the town. He later went on to Trinity College, Cambridge, and in 1915 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics jointly with his son, William Lawrence Bragg.
The 2015 vote marked the centenary of that award. How appropriate for one of Market Harborough’s most talented sons.
Bragg, Sir William Henry (1862–1942), English physicist, a founder of solid-state physics. He collaborated with his son, Sir (William) Lawrence Bragg (1890–1971), in developing the technique of X-ray diffraction for determining the atomic structure of crystals. In 1913 the Braggs discovered a method of investigating the structure of crystals using X-ray radiation. They soon proved the significance of this breakthrough by determining the internal structure of diamond. Two years later they shared a Nobel Prize for their work, which founded the discipline of X-ray crystallography.