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

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016149

Date first listed: 03-May-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Dec-1997

Map

Ordnance survey map of Civil War redoubt on Beacon Hill, 550m north west of The Firs
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

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: SK8190453650

Summary

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 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.

History

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

Details

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.

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

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 30212

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Clampe, R, A Description of the Seidge of Newarke upon Trent, (1646)
RCHME, , Newark on Trent - The Civil War Siegeworks, (1964)
Other
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 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing