Civil War Sconce 150m west of Muskham Bridge


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017620

Date first listed: 01-Jan-1949

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Aug-1997


Ordnance survey map of Civil War Sconce 150m west of Muskham Bridge
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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: SK7860956275


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 sconce west 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 both the survival of historical documentation and subsequent archaeological survey, the remains will contribute particularly to an understanding of the siege of Newark.


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


The monument includes the remains of a Civil War sconce constructed by the Royalist forces defending Newark and a later redoubt built by the Parliamentarians.

The monument lies 90m west of Muskham Bridge and includes the remains of earthworks defining a polygonal enclosure covering an area of approximately 50m by 45m with ramparts between 6m and 3m in width. The ramparts turn outwards at three points to form a west-facing central bastion and two demi- bastions pointing north and south respectively. In the north east corner an L- shaped ditch defines a later internal redoubt enclosing an area approximately 17m by 18m. An external ditch up to 2.5m in width follows the ramparts, beyond which are the remains of a slight counterscarp bank which is well defined on the western side. A linear depression 3m in width and approximately 0.6m deep abuts the ditch and counterscarp bank at the tip of the southern demi-bastion and runs ESE for up to 25m. This is identified as a covered way linking the sconce to the 17th century course of the Great North Road, which ran on a NNE- SSW axis from the end of the covered way to a point just beyond the north- eastern tip of the rampart.

Contemporary documentary sources indicate that the monument was a defensive work or sconce initially constructed by the Royalist forces defending Newark but which was subsequently stormed and briefly held by the Parliamentarians during the second siege of Newark in March 1645. During the third and final siege between November 1645 and May 1646 the sconce was again assaulted by the Parliamentarians, on this occasion by Scottish troops under the Earl of Leven. Following capture by the Scots a redoubt was constructed in the north eastern corner. Contemporary plans recording the fieldworks of the Parliamentarians and a similar document showing the Royalist defences both clearly depict the monument. In addition to the placement of the bastion and northern demi-bastion, the location of the sconce in close proximity to the 17th century course of the Great North Road and Muskham Bridge suggest that it was constructed to provide a clear field of fire over both these features, therefore preventing incursions onto the island from across the River Trent. The presence of the southern demi-bastion indicates that the sconce was also designed to be able to defend itself from the southern, landwards side.

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: 30203

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
A Great Fight at Newarke, (1646)
The Seige of Newark by the English and Scotch Armies, (1646)
Bury, Lieutenant Colonel, A Brief Relation of the Siege of Newarke, (1645)
Bury, Lieutenant Colonel, A Brief Relation of the Siege of Newarke, (1645)
Clampe, R, A Description of the Seidge of Newarke upon Trent, (1646)
RCHME, , Newark on Trent - The Civil War Siegeworks, (1964)
RCHME, , Newark on Trent - The Civil War Siegeworks, (1964)
'Journal of the House of Lords' in Journal of the House of Lords, (1646)
'Journal of the House of Lords' in Journal of the House of Lords, (1646)

End of official listing