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Civil War town defences within the Friary Garden

A Scheduled Monument in Newark, Nottinghamshire

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Latitude: 53.0779 / 53°4'40"N

Longitude: -0.8033 / 0°48'11"W

OS Eastings: 480263.690634

OS Northings: 354079.851743

OS Grid: SK802540

Mapcode National: GBR CLN.1Q4

Mapcode Global: WHFHH.MWPR

Entry Name: Civil War town defences within the Friary Garden

Scheduled Date: 6 August 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016020

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30209

County: Nottinghamshire

Civil Parish: Newark

Built-Up Area: Newark-on-Trent

Traditional County: Nottinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Nottinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Newark-upon-Trent with Coddington

Church of England Diocese: Southwell and Nottingham


The monument includes the remains of the ramparts and ditch defining the north
east corner of the Civil War town defences of Newark.
The monument is located within the Friary gardens and adjoining properties to
the south. It also includes areas beneath Sleaford Road and beneath Friary
The monument consists of earthworks defining a bank varying between
approximately 8m and 14m in width and up to 2m in height. The bank abuts the
northern boundary wall of Friary gardens and follows the inside edge of the
wall as it continues south east into Friary Road up to the corner of Magnus
Street. This bank is interpreted as representing the remains of a multi-phase
rampart constructed between 1642 and 1646 as the north east corner of the
town's Civil War defences. An additional area up to 5m north of the Friary
Gardens boundary wall on Sleaford Road and 5m east of the boundary wall on
Friary Road includes the position of an external ditch known to have been
constructed beyond the ramparts which survives as a buried feature. This
ditch is interpreted as having provided a quarry for material to increase the
height of the ramparts as well as providing a line of defence.
The rampart runs along the northern and eastern boundary of the adjacent
Friary precinct. Founded in 1499 the Friary was dissolved in 1539 and by the
outbreak of the Civil War was a private house. Archaeological work in 1982
indicated that the foundations of the medieval precinct wall survive in the
base on the Civil War rampart. Other remains of the Friary have been
extensively disturbed by later reuse of the site.
A contemporary plan recording the Civil War fieldworks constructed by the
Royalist garrision defending the town clearly depicts the rampart, the
external ditch and a bastion projecting from the north eastern corner of
Friary gardens. A kink in the boundary wall south of the Friary gardens access
road also corresponds with an offset in the defences visible at this point on
the plan. Several contemporary documentary sources make reference to the
construction and nature of the defences, descriptions which appear to
correspond closely with the physical remains identified and recorded during
archaeological evaluations in 1982 and 1996.
All walls, fences, pathways and roads are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The battles and sieges of the English Civil War (1642-52) between King and
Parliament were the last major active military campaigns to be undertaken on
English soil and have left their mark on the English landscape in a variety of
ways. Fieldworks are earthworks which were raised during the military
campaigns to provide temporary protection for infantry or to act as gun
emplacements. The earthworks, which may have been reinforced with revetting
and palisades, consisted of banks and ditches and varied in complexity from
simple breastworks to complex systems of banks and interconnecting trenches.
They can be recognised today as surviving earthworks or as crop or soil marks
on aerial photographs. They are recorded widely throughout England, with
concentrations in the main areas of campaigning, and have been recognised to
be unique in representing the only evidence on the ground of military
campaigns fought in England since the introduction of guns.
Newark was a key garrison held by the Royalists from the outbreak of the Civil
War in 1642 until it surrendered on the orders of the King in 1646. The town
was surrounded by a series of offensive and defensive fieldworks, many of
which survive to the present day. They are the most impressive surviving
collection of such works in England; not only do extensive remains survive,
but the whole system is recorded on two nearly contemporary plans, one by a
Royalist engineer, the other by a Parliamentarian. They thus provide a unique
opportunity for the study of the field engineering of the Civil War. All
surviving examples of the Newark siegeworks are identified to be nationally

The remains of the rampart survive particularly well as substantial earthworks
and will retain significant archaeological potential in the form of buried
deposits. The corresponding ditch will also survive as a buried feature and
will retain significant archaeological potential. As a result of both the
survival of historical documentation and subsequent archaeological survey
and evaluation, the remains are well understood. Their importance is enhanced
by the fact that they represent the only major surviving Civil War town
defences in Newark and therefore will contribute particularly to understanding
of the sieges.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Seige of Newark by the English and Scotch Armies, (1646)
Newark Corporation Minute Book, (1645)
Kinsley, A G, Elliott, L, Archaeological Evaluation at the Friary, Newark, Notts., (1996)
Parsons, D (ed), Diary of Sir Henry Slingsby, (1836)
RCHME, , Newark on Trent - The Civil War Siegeworks, (1964)
Bishop, Mike, The Friary, Newark: Interim Report on ...New Access Road, 1982,
Twentyman, John, Manuscript, (1646)

Source: Historic England

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