ewark Castle was built by Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln, between the years 1125 and 1135. Alexander also built the castles at Sleaford and Banbury. King Stephen arrested Alexander in June of 1139 believing that castle building should not be something done by the church. Alexander handed over the castles to Stephen after being imprisoned and forced to live on bread and water. It was at Newark that king John died in October 1216. John had seen his treasures sink in the Wash and at the Cistercian house at Swineshead, reportedly poisoned. John moved from there to Newark where he died. William Marshal rallied an army at Newark to free the city of Lincoln from the Dauphin Louis. The castle was largely rebuilt in the reign of Henry III.

Newark Castle Key Facts
CountyNottinghamshire (2 castles)
DirectionsBy the side of the River Trent on the west side of Newark-on-Trent
RemainsSmall amount survives
Access to siteAt any reasonable time
TimeRef Rating

1139 Jun  Roger, Bishop of Salisbury is arrested
 King Stephen arrested Roger, the Bishop of Salisbury. Bishop Roger was a powerful landowner and had several castles. Stephen also arrested Alexander, the bishop of Lincoln and had him imprisoned. Stephen wanted to take control to bishop Roger's castles and the bishop was taken to his castle at Devizes where he was held captive outside the walls and starved until the castle surrendered. Roger's son was also captured and tortured until the castle finally fell to the King. Roger's castle at Sherborne was also captured by Stephen. The castles at Newark and Sleaford in Lincolnshire belonging to bishop Alexander were forced to surrender to the King using the same underhand tactics.

Episode: Civil War Stephen and Matilda  
1216 Oct  Death of King John
 King John died at Newark from excessive eating and drinking. Protestant historians of the 16th century wrote that he was poisoned by a monk at Swineshead in Lincolnshire. The monk received orders from the Pope to kill King John and took a small amount of poisoned wine himself to reassure the King and also died. But had King John become the Pope's ally before his death? 
 Oct 19  King John dies
 King John died at Newark. This was shortly after he lost his baggage train in the Wash estuary as the tide returned. There was supposed to be a large amount of treasure in the baggage train at the time and it has never been found.

Episode: The First Barons' War  
Early Modern Period (1500-1800)
1645 Sep 24  Battle of Rowton Heath
 King Charles had been staying at Raglan Castle but the fall of his support in the south west meant that he was not safe there. Charles decided to move north to meet Montrose who he believed was marching south from Scotland. Charles was unaware of Montrose's defeat at Philiphaugh on the 13th. Charles reached Chester which was held by the Royalists but under siege and entered the city. An attempt to free the city failed and Charles abandoned the city and headed for Newark.[1] 
1646 May 9  Royalists at Newark surrender
 Charles agreed to some of the terms specified by the Scots and he ordered the royalist army at Newark surrendered. A few days later Charles ordered Montrose to disband his forces and to leave Scotland. The Scots then marched north with Charles as their prisoner to Newcastle-on-Tyne. 

Trebuchet Game (Beta Version)

Take control of a medieval trebuchet to destroy the enemy castle and capture their flag.



If you are Using Edge, Chrome Or Firefox

Explore a virtual UK Landscape (Beta)

View this page on a desktop computer to explore a virtual UK landscape.

Virtual Reconstructions

Transport yourself back up to a thousand years and explore historical buildings as they may have appeared in the past.

Explore a Motte and Bailey Castle

Android Phone App

TimeRef UK Castles Mobile App for Android Phone

This Android app allows you to find castles thar are near you. Currently the app includes only English and Welsh castles.

View Details in Google Play Store

View Instructions