Newark Castle on the banks of the River Trent, Nottinghamshire
April has brought us some showers but also the occasional sunny spell, the rain making the grass greener and the flowers shine brighter and on this particular April day we were able to take advantage of a brief spell of sunshine and time off to explore a small part of Newark upon Trent.
The County of Nottinghamshire looks like a peaceful English county….but history tells of much violence. During the English Civil Wars this important county of middle England was split in its loyalties between the Royalist, loyal to the monarchy, and the Parliamentarians representing a new order of rule.
Newark held a strategically important location within the county, was a committed Royalist stronghold with its own large garrison.
It would seem that most of county and its large towns and cities were of the opposite persuasion and would fight for the Parliamentarians. So Newark took a stand against what they perceived as these hostile forces. The opposition forced the Royalist back into the town and Newark was placed under siege in 1644 and again in 1665. The trauma of the siege and regular bombardment of the Castle explains why there is in reality so little of this important stronghold left.
From its imposing riverside location you gain and impression of its impressive size. Originally the Castle was a Saxon Fortified Manor House which in 1123 was completely rebuilt in to a grand medieval Castle of significant proportions and importance. But cross the river and enter what is left of the castle grounds and there is very little left, just the outer riverside wall and a gate house. The Civil Wars and their aftermath left their toll..
On a sunny April Spring day it is well worth breaking a journey to enjoy…and even in this now modest guise it still creates an atmosphere of power and dominance over the town.
(C) David Oakes 2017