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Pictures of Newark Castle

a Castle in the town of Newark-on-Trent, in the county of Nottinghamshire

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About Newark Castle

The romantic ruins of this once glorious castle were left to fall into further disrepair following the ravages of the English Civil War, when the townsfolk were ordered to destroy it.

Today, the ruins occupying a commanding position on the River Trent are the most prominent landmark in the town, and certainly the most historic, for it is likely a castle stood on this site during the Norman occupation, but the remains we look at today are from the 12th century.

The stark beauty of the three storey walls reflected in the waters of the Trent are all that is left of a castle built by Alexander the Magnificent, Bishop of Lincoln, who was also Lord of the Manor of Newark during the 12th century. Alexander built the castle on a grand scale, with an impressive gatehouse and a lavish interior fit for entertaining great members of the church and his friends from amongst the nobility. On arrival visitors passed through a set of magnificent gates into a courtyard large enough to hold both a chapel and separate kitchen building. It was impressive in the extreme, assuring visitors of their host's high position in the church, his wealth, and his power.

Parts of the original curtain walls remain from the 12th century, together with walls put up during the 14th century when it is possible that the castle was remodelled to meet with demands of a more comfortable age. New rooms would have been added, including a Great Hall as evidenced by the many windows remaining in the walls. Some of the windows are arched and others, like those of the tower walls are impressive bays. Fireplaces were installed at a later date.

At the time of the Reformation the castle passed to the Crown. It was leased out to the Earl of Rutland, and following his death passed to his son-in-law, Lord Burghley who carried out further improvements. In 1603, King James I was entertained there by Lord Burghley. This would appear to be Newark Castles' final period of lustre, for following the Civil War in 1646 squatters took possession of what little remained of the castle after it had been pillaged by the good people of Newark.

Interestingly, the building remained in the hands of the Crown until the 19th century when in 1845 it became the first castle building to be repaired as a monument at Government expense. Attention was turned to the grounds in 1847, these were re-landscaped and the site was opened as a glorious romantic ruin.

In its lovely riverside location the castle has become one of the areas premier tourist attractions, it also provides a dramatic backdrop for musical concerts and the re-enactment of historical events.

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