Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Newark Castle (Newark)

Newark Castle is an impressive ruin beside the River Trent in the historic Nottinghamshire town of Newark.

It had an important situation where the Fosse Way crossed the Great North Road by the Trent.

The castle was built by Alexander, the powrful Bishop of Lincoln, who also built castles at Banbury and Sleaford.

King John was staying at the castle in 1216 when he died during a thunderstorm. His body was taken to Worcester Cathedral for burial.

It saw action in the Barons' War against Henry III and during the Wars of the Roses.

James VI of Scotland stopped here on his way to London to formally become James I of England. When seeing the state of the prisoners at the castle, he ordered them all to be freed.

Newark was a Royalist stronghold in the Civil War, until Charles I, who had given himself up to the Scots at Southwell, ordered the governor, John Belasyse, to surrender. After this, the castle was slighted.

Today, the Newark Castle is a picturesque and massive ruin. The Norman North gateway, dating from 1170, is the largest in any English castle, and there is a well preserved undrcroft.

The castle is in the hands of the district council, and is open to the public.

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