Ancient Monuments

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Gun platform 440m south east of Muskham Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in South Muskham, Nottinghamshire

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Latitude: 53.0943 / 53°5'39"N

Longitude: -0.8223 / 0°49'20"W

OS Eastings: 478960.929915

OS Northings: 355879.133409

OS Grid: SK789558

Mapcode National: GBR CLF.2XK

Mapcode Global: WHFHH.BHN6

Entry Name: Gun platform 440m south east of Muskham Bridge

Scheduled Date: 1 January 1949

Last Amended: 24 September 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016047

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30202

County: Nottinghamshire

Civil Parish: South Muskham

Traditional County: Nottinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Nottinghamshire

Church of England Parish: South Muskham

Church of England Diocese: Southwell and Nottingham


The monument includes the remains of a gun platform used in the Civil War,
440m south east of Muskham Bridge. The remains include earthworks defining a
flat-topped mound which is pear-shaped in plan, measuring approximately 23m
north-south and 19m east-west, and with a maximum height of 1m. In profile the
mound slopes steeply to the north and gently to the south. The top of the
platform is sub circular and up to 12m in diameter, and the mound is
surrounded by an irregular quarry ditch up to 0.4m in depth and a maximum of
1m in width.

The monument was a gun platform designed to defend the original course of the
Great North Road and its crossing point over the River Trent. Contemporary
documentary sources show that a drawbridge was constructed across the Trent at
Muskham in 1536 in conjunction with several gun batteries encircling Newark,
intended to defend the town from possible attack by Catholic rebels. It is
considered likely that the gun platform belongs to this phase of town defence.
Although not shown on contemporary siege plans, the gun platform would also
have been used in the Civil War. Contemporary documentary sources record that
Muskham Bridge was stormed by attacking Parliamentarian forces during the
second siege of Newark in March 1644. An assault upon the bridge by Scottish
troops belonging to the Parliamentarians also served as a prelude to the third
and final siege in November 1645. It is considered probable that the gun
platform took part in both of these actions functioning in conjunction with
the sconce situated 500m to the north west. This would have enabled both
Muskham Bridge and the line of the Great North Road to be enfiladed from
either side.

All fences and roadways are excluded from the scheduling although the ground
beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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 gun platform south east of Muskham Bridge survive
particularly well as a series of substantial earthworks and will retain
significant archaeological potential in the form of buried deposits. As a
result of the survival of historical documentation, archaeological survey and
archaeological evaluation, the remains will contribute significantly to
understanding the defence of Newark in the 16th and 17th centuries, with a
particular emphasis on the Civil War sieges of the town.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Letters and Papers Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII
Clampe, R, A Description of the Seidge of Newarke upon Trent, (1646)
Heritage Lincolnshire, , Restoration of a Civil War Gun Battery, Crankley Lane, S.Muskham, (1991)
RCHM, , The Civil War Earthworks of Newark on Trent, (1964)

Source: Historic England

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