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Newark Castle

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Castle, in its namesake city in mid-east England, was first built as a timber castle in the 12th century by the local Bishop, a fortified home for the town’s priests and highborn in times of crisis. Due to good business in the area, the castle could be afforded to be rebuilt in stone near the end of the century as a testament to good fortune.

Five centuries later after the English Civil War, the castle was partially deconstructed to make use of its materials. Another two centuries passed, and in 1840 work began on restoring the castle to its previous grandeur. The grounds inside the castle are now used for the Gilstrap Heritage Centre, a non-profit free-entry museum that showcases the history of the surrounding area.


King John, infamous for his role as the villain in The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, had suffered defeat upon defeat during the First Barons War and made his way cross-country to stay at Newark Castle, one of the few places where he still had loyal allies. During the journey, he lost many of his belongings and pack-horses to bad weather, and had reportedly fallen sick (most believe he’d been poisoned). To this day many people are still searching for the lost treasure of King John. Upon his arrival at the castle, there was a feast in his name but John’s illness only grew worse, even while being tended to by the local physicians. He later died in his bed at the castle of dysentery. The official cause of death was described as being caused by a “surfeit of Peaches”.
After the death of King John, one his knights, Robert de Gaughy, took control of the castle prepared for a siege.   The royal forces of Henry III did indeed besiege the castle but convinced de Gaughy to surrender after a mere eight days. Robert de Gaughy was fined £100 pounds and allowed to go free.


Local legends tell  that on the night that King John died a mighty thunderstorm swept over Sherwood Forrest that was so violent that people believed it was as if  “the Devil himself was a’ coming to claim King John’s soul”.  King John is buried at Worcester Cathedral in Worcestershire.



Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Silverhill Lane, Teversal
Nottinghamshire, England, NG17 3JJ
+44 (0)1623 551 838

Contact Details

  • Address: Castlegate, Newark, Nottinghamshire, England, United kingdom, NG24 1BG
  • GPS: 53.0763541,-0.8136250999999675
  • Phone: 0044 (0)1636 655 765
  • Part of UK: England
  • Sat Nav Postcode: NG24 1BG
  • Entrance Fees: Charges Apply
  • Disabled Access: Good
  • Visibility from Road: Good
  • Image Credits: Stuart J Crump

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