Gun platform 440m south east of Muskham Bridge


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016047

Date first listed: 01-Jan-1949

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Sep-1997


Ordnance survey map of Gun platform 440m south east of Muskham Bridge
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Nottinghamshire

District: Newark and Sherwood (District Authority)

Parish: South Muskham

National Grid Reference: SK 78962 55880


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 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.


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


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.

MAP EXTRACT 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.


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

Legacy System number: 30202

Legacy System: RSM


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)

End of official listing