Newark Castle on the River Trent in Nottinghamshire
Newark Castle by the River Trent in Nottinghamshire.

Newark Castle , the medieval monument of national importance sitting on the River Trent, famous for dispatching that mad despot, bad King John.  Personally I don’t see how the pilloried Plantagenet  was any worse than the incumbent pocket thieving, tax-avoiding, limelight hogging bunch of media whores we’ve got now.  Magna Carta hasn’t done me any favours and the Queen still refuses to see me when I pop to London.  Her loss.  Today, Newark Castle is blessed with our majestic presence but besieged by common peasants crawling around because the sun is out.  One look at the behaviour of these peasants and you can see how revolting they really are.

The stone castle built in 1133 by the modestly named Bishop of Lincoln, Alexander the Magnificent, was originally on the site a Saxon fortified manor house.  King John is probably its most famous visitor, when he died here in 1216 on his way to his hunting lodge, King John’s Palace in Clipstone.  Probably wanted to console himself by inflicting pain on animals as the clumsy oaf lost the crown jewels a week before in the Wash.  Luckily for the animals, and the country, Newark Castle must have had a really bad cook where bad King John managed to gorge himself on peaches and died of dysentery on 18 October 1216 in the south-west tower.  It’s more likely though that he died in one of the apartments above the imposing and then heavily guarded gatehouse.

Newark castle was also in support during another royal rumpus, where it was held for King Charles 1 during the Civil War and besieged by Parliament 3 times.  Parliament ordered the castle to be slighted, but owing to an outbreak of plague in Newark, and not due to MP’s incompetence, not all the castle was destroyed and today, one and a half sides of the castle remain including the imposing curtain wall by the River Trent, the grand gatehouse and south-west tower.


Nick Cook. Amateur astronomer, space, history, nerd, extreme dog walker, cat slave, severe tinnitus sufferer. 13.7 billion years in the making - not that much better for it.

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