Ancient Monuments

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Civil War redoubt on Beacon Hill, 550m north west of The Firs

A Scheduled Monument in Newark, Nottinghamshire

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Latitude: 53.0738 / 53°4'25"N

Longitude: -0.7789 / 0°46'44"W

OS Eastings: 481905.11479

OS Northings: 353649.923237

OS Grid: SK819536

Mapcode National: GBR CLP.7WZ

Mapcode Global: WHFHJ.0ZCX

Entry Name: Civil War redoubt on Beacon Hill, 550m north west of The Firs

Scheduled Date: 3 May 1974

Last Amended: 9 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016149

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30212

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 a Civil War redoubt on the eastern summit
of Beacon Hill.
The monument is situated in an urban area and consists of an L-shaped ditch
approximately 30m in length north to south and about 35m east to west. The
ditch has a marked V-shaped profile and measures up to 2.5m in depth and 7.5m
in width. Aerial photographs and archaeological field observation prior to the
construction of a housing estate around the monument suggest that the ditch
was originally rectangular in plan, the southern and eastern sections having
been infilled at some point during the last century.
Contemporary documents record the tactical importance of Beacon Hill
throughout the Civil War as the only high ground overlooking the town. During
the second siege in March 1644 the Royalist commander Prince Rupert occupied
the hill with his forces as a prelude to mounting a cavalry charge which
dislodged the besieging Parliamentarian forces from their positions. During
the third and final siege between November 1645 and May 1646 a contemporary
plan showing the fieldworks of the Parliamentarians clearly depicts the lines
of circumvallation crossing the western slopes of the hill. A small
Parliamentarian fort is also known to have been constructed approximately 500m
to the north west of the redoubt. The placement of the monument on the eastern
side of the hill with good views over Coddington and Balderton, both of which
were garrisoned and fortified by the Parliamentarians during the third siege,
suggests that it was designed to protect the line of the Coddington road and
the eastern approaches to Newark. The fact that it is not depicted on either
of the 1646 plans suggests that it dates from early in the war and was
possibly therefore a hastily constructed Royalist defensive work subsequently
found to be too exposed to maintain.
The surfaces of all pathways and fences 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 redoubt on Beacon Hill 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 both the survival of
historical documentation and subsequent archaeological survey, the redoubt
will contribute particularly to understanding of the sieges of Newark.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Clampe, R, A Description of the Seidge of Newarke upon Trent, (1646)
RCHME, , Newark on Trent - The Civil War Siegeworks, (1964)
Baddeley, V., Nottinghamshire Sites and Monuments Record: PRN 03663, (1987)
Fairey Surveys Ltd, Nottinghamshire County Cover 1:10000 - 2424, (1974)
Fairey Surveys Ltd, Nottinghamshire County Survey 1:12000 - 088, (1971)
Kinder, V, (1997)
MWT, Ancient Monuments Record Form - NT 158, (1973)
Spence, Ursilla, (1997)
Title: Ordnance Survey 25" Series - 1920
Source Date: 1920

Source: Historic England

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