Civil War sconce 650m north west of Devon Bridge

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017402

Date first listed: 07-May-1957

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Dec-1997

Map

Ordnance survey map of Civil War sconce 650m north west of Devon Bridge
© 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: SK7865153804

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 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.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the remains of a Civil War sconce constructed by the Royalist forces defending Newark and subsequently occupied by the Parliamentarians.

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.

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: 30220

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

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)

End of official listing