Civil War town defences within the Friary Garden


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016020

Date first listed: 06-Aug-1997


Ordnance survey map of Civil War town defences within the Friary Garden
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Dec-2018 at 16:47:46.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Nottinghamshire

District: Newark and Sherwood (District Authority)

Parish: Newark

National Grid Reference: SK8025554013


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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 important.

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.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


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 Road. 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.

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


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 30209

Legacy System: RSM


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)

End of official listing