In a charter generally thought to date to 1135, King Henry I granted the Bishop of Lincoln permission to build a castle. The charter reads "Henry, King of England to all the Barons and to the Sheriffs and to his ministers and faithful men of Nottinghamshire, Greeting. Know ye, that I have granted to Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln, that he may make a ditch and rampart of his fishpond of Niwerc upon the Fosseway and he may divert the Fosseway through the same town as he shall wish." Alexander also established a mint at the castle. This early castle was most likely of timber construction, and was rebuilt in stone towards the end of the century.
King John travelled north to relieve the rebel siege at Lincoln and back east to King's Lynn, probably to order further supplies from the continent. In King's Lynn, John contracted dysentery. John's illness grew worse and by the time he reached Newark Castle he was unable to travel any farther; John died on the night of 18 October. Numerous – probably fictitious – accounts circulated soon after his death that he had been killed by poisoned ale, poisoned plums or a "surfeit of peaches". The castle was slighted in 1648 and left derelict. Between 1845 and 1848 architect Anthony Salvin restored the castle, and in 1889 the corporation of Newark purchased the building and carried out further restoration work. Newark Castle and Gardens are pretty, formal gardens bordered by the remaining walls of Newark Castle which was partly destroyed in 1646 at the end of the English Civil War. The Castle Gardens, which are Grade II listed by English Heritage and Green Flag awarded, were designed by an eminent Victorian landscape architect, H.E. Milner.
Surfaced pathways in the castle and gardens allow suitable access for wheelchairs. During the visit, relax in the quiet garden areas and admire the picturesque views. Entertainment often occurs seasonally, with a bandstand for concerts available, and makes for a great day out. Assistance dogs welcome. There are disabled toilets nearby. Tours are held Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sudays. Dungeon Tour (over 5's only) 11:00 and Tower Tour 13:00. These are not wheelchair accessible.
Location : 31 Castle Gate, Newark, Nottingham NG24 1BG
Transport: Newark Castle (National Rail) 6 minutes. Bus Routes : 2, 3A, 22, 23, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33, 37, 39 and 54 stop outside.
Opening Times : Daily 08:30 to Dusk
Tickets Castle & Grounds: Free
Tickets Tours: Adults £5.00; Children £2.50
Tel: 01636 655765