Rising majestically above the River Trent at Newark in Nottinghamshire is Newark Castle known as the Key of the North due to its position and great strength only 20 miles down River from Nottingham. It was founded by during the reign of Egbert (802 – 839) of the West Saxons. The Castle was extended over the years especially after the Norman Conquest and was consecrated by the Bishop of Lincoln in 1123 who established it as a mint. As a royal castle it was home to King John who died there in 1216 but by the time of Edward III was used as a prision.
During the English Civil War it became a garrison for Charles I and his Royalist forces along with the town being fortified who held this loyal town of In Nottinghamshire during the latter years of the war. After endring 3 seiges it eventually surrended at the end of the war to Cromwell’s forces who systamatically began demolition and dismantling of the castle as they did with its sister 20 miles away in Nottingham on the orders of Oliver Cromwell.
Today all that remains of the original Norman castle are the Gate-house, a south west tower, a crypt and a single long curtain wall still with decorative windows, garderobe holes and crenalations. The walls show the pitted marks of war and seige where cannon balls and musket fire marred the stout walls.