Newark Castle: Niwerc



Scheduled Monument – Monument Number 322211

Grade I Listed Building, Grade II Listed Gardens.


Early Medieval cemetery, roughly rectangular Medieval castle, gatehouse. The gatehouse measuring 45 ft by 30 ft with walls of 8-9 ft thick with buttresses at the corners and standing three stories high, within a rectangular bailey. The water gate in the west wall and the moat spanned by a bridge.


*                                  Originally had a timber pallisade, and possibly a Saxon fortified manor.

*                                  Finds include pottery.

1123-1133                   Rebuilt by Bishop Alexander

1130                            Motte and bailey constructed.

1133                            Alexander gained permission to build a bridge from the castle across the River Tyne.

1138-1140                   Rebuilt in stone and described by Henry of Huntingdon as ‘magnificent’.

1180                            Visited by Henry II.

12th C                          Late: South west tower built.

1216                            King John died at the castle.

1217                            Robert de Gaugy refused to surrender the castle to the Bishop of Lincoln and it was seiged by the Dauphin of France under the orders of Henry III. The siege lasted for 8 days.

1218                            Given back to the Bishop of Lincoln.

1290                            Possibly rebuilt.

13th C                          Rebuilt and altered including a new tower to the north west and a new curtain wall.

1320-1340                   During: River front central tower built, north west tower and curtain wall remodeled, possibly by Bishop de Burghersh.

1322                            Held by Bishop Henry Burghersh, but Edward II gave it to Donald, Earl of Mar.

1323                            Visited by Edward II.

1333-1348                   Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln built the gatehouse, curtain wall and north west tower.

1335                            Anarchy: Taken by King Stephen

14th C                          Rebuilt, including the Hall undercroft.

1435                            Walls repaired.

1471-1480                   During: Hall altered and an oriel window added for Bishop Thomas Rotherham.

1487                            Visited by Henry VII.

15th C                          Altered.

1547                            Passed to Henry VIII.

1587                            Repairs carried out by Sir William Cecil.

1581                            Central and south west towers altered as well as gatehouse and Hall windows, for the Edward, 3rd Earl of Rutland and was in urgent need of repair.

1590                            Sir William Cecil, 17th Baron de Ros, was born at the castle.

16th C                          Mid: Deteriorated.

1603                            Visited by James I.

1642-1651                   Civil War: Royalist commander Sir John Henderson was the first commander of the castle.

1642                            Civil War: Charles I’s Kings General fortified and garrisoned the castle.

1643                            Civil War: February – Major General Thomas Ballard tried to take the city with 600 men and 10 guns. An unsuccessful counter attack led to a withdrawal.

1644                            Civil War: February – Sir Thomas Meldrum, for Parliament, with 2,000 horse, 5,000 foot, 11 cannons and 2 mortars attacked but they surrendered when Prince Maurice and his troops turned up.

1645                            Civil War: November – Parliamentarian General Poyntz and the Scots army laid siege to the town. The castle was held by Lord John Bellasis for the King. Poyntz dammed the river and cut off the water supply.

1646                            Civil War: May – The castle surrendered to Parliament, and they removed the roof and slighted the building.

1845-1848                   Restored by Anthony Salvin.

1889                            Bought and restored by the Newark Corporation.

19th C                          Mid: Buttresses on gatehouse.

1953-1956                   Excavated

1962                            Field Investigation.

1970-1971                   Excavated.

1972                            Excavated by  University of Nottingham.

1979-1990                   Restored by the Department of the Environment.

1984                            Excavated by  Trent Valley Archaeological Research Committee.

1992                            Geophysical Survey by Geophysical Surveys of Bradford.

1992-1995                   Excavated by Newark Castle Trust.

1993-1994                   Watching Brief by  Trent and Peak Archaeological Trust.

1994                            Excavated by John Samuels Archaeological Consultancy.

1994                            Watching Brief by John Samuels Archaeological Consultancy.

1994                            Scheduled.

1998                            Excavated by Archaeological Project Services.

1999                            Watching Brief by John Samuels Archaeological Consultancy.

2001                            Watching Brief by John Samuels Archaeological Consultancy.

21st C                           Beginning: Tower, gatehouse and part of curtain wall remain.


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