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Project q290 Atherstone 2000-2003

John Thompson (1720 - 1783) of Witherley Bridge, near Atherstone, published Question 290 in the 1766 Gentleman's Diary. Thompson's mathematical conundrum employed solar delination and azimuth as well as spatial trigonometry to create a reverse-engineered fabrication of the Common Land survey for the Atherstone Enclosure of 1765.

Between 2000 and 2003, Project q290 was developed by David Patten in liaison with Dana A Freiburger at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The project findings were exhibited in Witherely in August 2002 and at the 6th Notre Dame History of Astronomy Workshop (NDVI) in Paris in June 2003.

Project q290 set out, through archive research and landscape exploration, to reconnect Thompson's mathematical conundrum to its original landscape. Today this landscape is 100 acres of mixed use urban fringe comprising a school, private housing, an industrial estate, a sewage works and the A5 dual carriageway.

Project q290 was also about generating place-specific content to inform local policy development, particularly the promotion of local content, identity and distinctiveness within the Market Town agenda.

Project q290 was part funded by Arts Council England-West Midlands.