Ancient Monuments

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Civil War sconce 650m north west of Devon Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Newark, Nottinghamshire

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Latitude: 53.0757 / 53°4'32"N

Longitude: -0.8274 / 0°49'38"W

OS Eastings: 478650.666725

OS Northings: 353803.632616

OS Grid: SK786538

Mapcode National: GBR CLM.1MM

Mapcode Global: WHFHH.8Y7H

Entry Name: Civil War sconce 650m north west of Devon Bridge

Scheduled Date: 7 May 1957

Last Amended: 8 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017402

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30220

County: Nottinghamshire

Civil Parish: Newark

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 sconce constructed by the
Royalist forces defending Newark and subsequently occupied by the

The monument is located 650m north west of Devon Bridge. The remains include
earthworks defining an irregular star-shaped platform up to 4.5m in height and
covering an area approximately 46m by 47.5m. Triangular projections situated
on the north, south, east and western corners of the platform are interpreted
as representing the remains of angle bastions. Faint indications of a
surrounding ditch are also visible.

The monument is one of several fieldworks constructed by the defending
Royalist garrison prior to the final siege of Newark between November 1645 and
May 1646. A contemporary plan of Royalist origins clearly depicts the monument
and refers to it as the `Sandhills Sconce'. A second plan dated to
approximately 1646 recording the fieldworks of the Parliamentarians shows the
monument in some detail and describes it as `a worke of the Scots pallisadoed
about'. The latter plan depicts a surrounding ditch with a bridge crossing it,
a square external palisade and internal breastworks. Contemporary accounts of
the siege suggest that the monument was a Royalist defensive work known as
`Sandy Fort' which was captured by the Scots who comprised part of the
besieging Parliamentarian forces in April 1646, and was probably refortified
and adapted by them after this time. The location of the sconce astride a
contemporary trackway, and its orientation in relation to a fording point over
the Old Trent Dyke and other Royalist fieldworks, suggest that it was
initially constructed to protect the western approaches to Newark. Following
its capture it provided a base for the continuing Parliamentarian assault on
the town.

All fences and trackways 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 this Civil War sconce survive particularly well in the form of
a series of substantial earthworks. The monument has not been subject to
significant disturbance with the result that the preservation of
archaeological deposits is good. As a result of the survival of historical
documentation relating to the site the remains are quite well understood and
will provide further information about the theory and practice of military
engineering during the sieges of Newark.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Seige of Newark by the English and Scotch Armies, (1646)
Clampe, R, A Description of the Seidge of Newarke upon Trent, (1646)
RCHME, , Newark on Trent - The Civil War Siegeworks, (1964)
'Journal of the House of Lords' in Journal of the House of Lords, (1646)

Source: Historic England

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