Tourist Information in Nottinghamshire
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Newark Town Information




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This market town, once known as ‘the key to the North’, is also a small river port on the mighty Trent. At one time it was a post-town on the Great North Road. It has retained some of its charm, boasting a cobbled market place, some half-timbered buildings and the Church of St Magdalene - one of the most imposing parish churches in England. An earlier settlement was destroyed by the Vikings in the 12th century but it was quickly rebuilt, with Bishop Alexander adding a formidable castle.

Newark Castle - Photo © Richard Croft
Newark Castle - Photo: Richard Croft CCL

Unfortunately, this otherwise impregnable fortress became a tragic ruin after Charles 1 surrendered it to Parliamentary forces during the Civil War in the mid-17th century.

Five hundred years earlier King John died in the castle, either from poison or a surfeit of peaches and cider. The Queen’s Sconce is an earthwork built as a defensive structure during the war.

One-time Prime Minister William Gladstone was Newark’s MP for three years in the 19th century, making his first public address from the Clinton Arms.