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Thursday, 9 April 2015


Gnomes are tiny, shaped like humans, with long beards. They were first introduced by Swiss alchemist Paracelsus in the 16th century and later adopted by more recent authors including those of modern fantasy literature.

Sir Charles Isham (1819-1903), a landowner based at Lamport Hall, Northampton is credited with beginning the tradition of garden gnomes in the United Kingdom when he introduced a number of terracotta figures from Nuremberg, Germany in 1847.

Isham was a vegetarian spiritualist who hoped that they would lure real gnomes in to his garden.

These figurines were known at the time in Germany, as Gartenzwerge (garden dwarfs). The application of the term gnome in English is first attested in the 1930s.

1967 saw David Bowie release a novelty single, "The Laughing Gnome,", which many fans argue is the worst song he has ever recorded.

In 1990, Bowie announced the set list for his Sound+Vision Tour would be decided by telephone voting. The music magazine, NME, attempted to rig the voting so "The Laughing Gnome," was the most requested. He didn't play it.

Gnomes are banned from the gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show

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