The Squared Square Takes Shape

Leon and Ian, Mildenhall Monumentals

Leon and Ian, Mildenhall Monumentals

Leon Russell and his assistant Ian Norman, master stonemasons of Mildenhall Monumentals have been hard at work on the Squared Square for the Bill Tutte Memorial on Rutland Hill in Newmarket.  While an undergraduate at Trinity College, Cambridge, Bill and three friends proved a solution to the problem of tiling a square with squares of different sizes (unlike a chess board which is tiled with squares of the same size).  This interest in mathematical puzzles led to him being invited to join the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park in 1941.

Some of the granite pieces

Some of the granite pieces that will make up the Squared Square

The square is 112 cm x 112 cm and is made up of 22 pieces of polished granite 5 cm thick.  Leon and Ian cut the squares themselves with a 65 years old circular saw because the granite suppliers could not achieve the accuracy required.  The individual squares are in four colours in recognition of Bill Tutte’s proof that that was the minimum number of colours needed on a map to ensure that no contiguous countries had the same colour.  The Squared Square will be surrounded by black granite and will be sunk into the pavement on Rutland Hill to mark the key viewing point for Harry Gray’s iconic sculpture “The Codebreaker”.  The memorial will be unveiled on 10 September but we still need donations towards the scholarship.

Donations can be made via:


Author: Richard Fletcher



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