What to See in England
By Gordon Home
Public Domain Books
=How to get there.=–Train from King’s Cross. Great Northern Rly. =Nearest Station.=–Newark. =Distance from London.=–120 miles. =Average Time.=–Varies between 2-1/2 to 3-1/4 hours.
1st 2nd 3rd =Fares.=–Single 17s. 6d. ... 10s. Return 35s. 0d. ... 20s.
=Accommodation Obtainable.=–"The Ram Hotel,” “Clinton Arms," “Saracen’s Head,” “White Hart,” “Swan and Salmon,” etc. =Alternative Routes.=–Train from Euston, via Market Harboro’, L. and N.W. Railway. Train from St. Pancras, Midland Rly.
Newark-upon-Trent is believed by some antiquaries to have been built in Roman times; others state its origin to have been Saxon, but the first absolutely certain record of it is in the time of Edward the Confessor. The castle, which was built in the reign of Stephen, stands on the bank of the river, and on that side is still tolerably perfect. Of the interior nothing remains except the foundations of a great hall, probably built in later times than the rest of the fortress. A flight of steps leads from the hall to the crypt beneath, which has loop-holes looking towards the river. The eastern wall has disappeared, but those remaining are fairly intact. The architecture of the castle varies, part being Norman, and other portions dating from before the Parliamentary War. The space enclosed by the castle walls is now used for a bowling-green, and also as a large cattle-market.
During King John’s reign the castle was besieged by the Barons, and John, coming to relieve them, was taken ill and died there in 1216. During the reign of Henry III. the fortress, which had been taken from the See of Lincoln by Stephen, was restored, and remained ecclesiastical property until the reign of Edward VI.
In the time of Charles I. the castle sustained several sieges. It was at Newark that Charles I. was deserted by his nephews Rupert and Maurice, after his defeat at Naseby. The king withdrew to Oxford at the approach of the Scots and Parliamentary armies, and Newark was besieged by the Scots. After the king’s surrender in 1646, Newark was delivered up by his orders, and the fortifications, which were 2-1/4 miles long, were destroyed by the Parliamentary troops.
Newark Parish Church is built chiefly in the Perpendicular style, but contains some traces of Norman work. In the town there are also the remains of a chapel of an ancient hospital of the Knights Templars, some walls of an Augustine priory, and a Gothic cross.
[Illustration: Photochrom Co., Ltd. NEWARK CASTLE.
King John died here, and in the Parliamentary War the castle underwent several sieges.]