Happy Ada Lovelace Day - celebrating Seaham's links to the pioneering mathematician

Today, on October 11, the worlds of science, technology, engineering and maths mark the pioneering work of Ada Lovelace.

Tuesday, 9th October 2018, 2:58 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th October 2018, 3:03 pm
Ada Lovelace

Born in 1815, Ada paved the way for women in science and is widely credited with being the world’s first computer programmer - at a time when computers weren’t even in existence.

But it might all have been a different story had it not been for an East Durham landmark. For it was at Seaham Hall where Ada’s parents, romantic poet Lord Byron and Annabella Milbanke, wed in the same year Ada was born.

Seaham Hall has an Ada Lovelace suite

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Though the flamboyant poet’s union with Annabella barely lasted a year, due to his hedonistic behaviour and rumours of adultury, their daughter proved a real success story.

Ada was known in her time as a revolutionary and influential mathematician and writer, and was chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine.

Her notes on the engine include what is recognised as the first algorithm intended to be carried out by a machine. She was called the Enchantress of Numbers by her fellow scientific collaborators - an amazing accolade and feat at a time when women were expected simply to stay at home and to bring up their children.

Known as the Countess of Lovelace the day named in her honour Ada Lovelace Day, which takes place on October 11 each year, is an international celebration day of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Seaham Hall, now a luxury hotel, also has its own tribute to this remarkable woman with its Ada Lovelace suite, which is housed in the room in which her parents wed. You can take a look around the room here.