Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for NEWARK

NEWARK, a town, a parish, a sub-district, a district, and a hundred, in Notts. The town stands on a leveltract, on the Fosse way, on the river Devon, on a shortartificial cut of the Trent navigation, adjacent to theancient bed of the river Trent, at the intersection of the Great Northern railway with the Nottingham and Lincoln line of the Midland railway, near the Ad Pontem Roman station on Ermine-street, 1½ mile E of the present bed of the river Trent, 4 W of the river Witham at the boundary with Lincolnshire, and 17½ N E of Nottingham. It is supposed to have been founded at the site of the Roman Ad Pontem, by the ancient British Coritani. It was there a Roman town, or at least the place of a Roman garrison; it was known to the Saxons as Sidnacester, and was made, in their time, the seat of abishopric; it was destroyed, in the time of Edward the Confessor, by the Northmen; and it was then refoundedon its present site, and called, in contradistinction to theprevious town, the " New Work" or Newark. A castlewas built at it in the Saxon times, probably by Egbert, king of the West Saxons; was regarded as a highly important military strength, and designated the " Key of the North; " was repaired by Leofric, Earl of Mercia; was almost entirely rebuilt, on an enlarged plan, in 1125, by Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln; became then, by royalcharter, the place of a mint; was surrendered, in 1139, by Bishop Alexander, to the Crown; was the death-place, in 1216, of King John; was used as a state prisonin the time of Edward III.; gave accommodation, in 1530, to Cardinal Wolsey and his splendid retinue, on their way to Southwell; was visited, in 1622, by James I.; shared with other defences of the town, in siegesduring the civil wars of Charles I.; underwent demolition about the end of these wars; and is now representedonly by portions of the walls, by part of its enclosure converted into a cattle-market, and by another part now disposed in baths and pleasure-grounds. The town wassurrounded by walls, with gates at some period notclearly recorded; it was garrisoned for the king, at theoutbreak of the civil wars of Charles I.; it maintainedrule, for a time, over all Notts except the town of Nottingham, and over great part of Lincolnshire; and it sustained three sieges in the course of the civil wars. Inthe first of the sieges, all Northgate was burnt, by order of the governor, Sir John Henderson; in the second, it was relieved by Prince Rupert after a sanguinary battleon Beacon-hill, ½ a mile to the E; and in the third, in 1645, it made successful resistance, with high display ofheroism and with vigorous sallies; but, in May 1646, by order of the king, it was surrendered to the Scottish army. The walls and other defences, with comparatively smallexception, were then destroyed; and only two remnants of them, two considerable earthworks, called the King's Sconce and the Queen's Sconce, are now observable. Roman coins, urns, and other Roman relics have beenfound. A preceptory of the Knights Templars was herebefore 1185; there were also friaries of the Augustinians and the Observantines; an old house still or recentlystanding was part of the Augustinian priory; anotherhouse, called North Chantry House, was an ancientchantry; and a church of early date was battered downin the civil wars. The town, though not now on the river Trent, bears, in legal designation, the name of Newark-upon-Trent. The ancient current of the riverwas diverted from it, partly by a cut to the brook of Kelham, and partly by obstructions at the Newark mills; and the navigable reach of the Trent on which it nowstands, leaves the Trent about 1½ mile above it, and joinsth e Trent about the same distance below it. Bishop Warburton, Archdeacon Magnus, the surgeon Ardern of the 15th century, and the Hebrew scholar Lightfoot werenatives; the metaphysician Hartley practised in it as aphysician; and Earl Manvers takes from it the title of Viscount.

The town is neatly built; consists of several streets, with a large quadrangular market-place; and is wellsupplied with water from works at Muskham-bridge and Beacon-hill. A raised causeway, constructed under thedirection of Smeaton in 1770, extends over a distance of1½ mile at the town and its vicinity; forms part of the great road from London to the N; consists, in variousparts, of 13 bridges, with an aggregate of 94 arches; crosses the artificial cut of the Trent navigation, by one of these bridges, near the cattle-market; and terminatesat Muskham-bridge over the main stream of the Trent. A branch-road from that causeway, leading by the canal-bridge, goes also to the Trent at Kelhambridge. The town hall stands in the market-place; was erected in 1805, at a cost of £17,000; is a handsome edifice of threestories; and contains apartments for public business, and a large apartment for assemblies and concerts. The corn exchange stands in Castlegate; was built in 1848, at a cost of £7, 100; is a handsome structure, in the Italian style; has a clock-tower, with figures of commerce and agriculture; and is occasionally used forlectures and exhibitions. The sessions-house and police-office stands in Carter-gate, and is a plain building. The Stock library was established in 1825; and is placed in a neat building in the market-place, erected by Lord Middleton, and presented by him to the share-holders. St. Mary's church is large, cruciform, partly Norman, chiefly decorated English; was thoroughly restored in 1855; includes mortuary chapels; has a lofty W tower, with fine octagonal spire; has also a magnificent stained-glass E window, put up in 1864, at a cost ofabout £1,000, to the memory of the late Prince Consort; and contains a rich oak screen, ancient sedilia, elaboratelycarved oak stalls, and several large engraved brasses, one of them to Alan Flemynge who died in 1361. Christchurch, in Lombard-street, was erected in 1836, at a cost of about £3,000; and is a neat structure in the early English style. The Roman Catholic church, in Parliament-street, was built in 1836, at a cost of £3,000; is a neatedifice, in the pointed style; and contains about 1,000sittings. There are chapels for Independents, Baptists, Particular Baptists, Wesleyan Methodists, Primitive Methodists, New Connexion Methodists, and Unitarians. The free grammar school stands in Appleton-gate; was founded in 1529, by Archdeacon Magnus, for givingclassical education to the boys of Newark and the neighbourhood; admits 30 boys on the foundation; has £300 a year from endowment, and two exhibitions of £80 eachto either Oxford or Cambridge; and had, for pupils, Bishops White and Warburton, the antiquary Stukeley, and Francis Tallents, president of Magdalene College, Cambridge. A song or choral school is connected with the grammar school, and has an endowed income of £143. There are two national schools, an infant school, an industrial school, and a Wesleyan school; and one of thenational schools is connected with Christchurch, and was built in 1843, at a cost of £1, 337. St. Leonard's hospital, founded by Bishop Alexander, has £245 a year from endowment; Phillepott's alms-houses have £447; Chapman's alms-houses have £20; and the dispensaryhas £150. The total of endowed charities, including one of £2, 381 by Archdeacon Magnus for various purposes, is £4, 159.

The town has a head post-office, ‡ a railway station with telegraph, three banking offices, and several goodinns; is a seat of quarter-sessions, petty-sessions, a court of record, a county-court, and a probate court, and a polling-place and place of election; and publishes a weekly newspaper. A weekly corn-market is held on Wednesday; a fortnightly cattle-market is held on Tuesday; an annual cheese-market is held on the Wednesday before 2 Oct.; and fairs, chiefly for cattle, are held on the Friday after Mid-Lent Sunday, 14 May, Whit-Tuesday, 2 Aug., 1 Nov., and the Monday before 11 Dec. The corn-market is very largely attended; a trade inflour and malt is very extensive; an export trade in corn, cattle, coal, and other commodities, both by railway and by the Trent navigation, is very flourishing; and there are two large breweries, several smaller breweries, agriculturalimplement manufactories, four extensive iron and brassfoundries, four steam-boiler works, and three extensiveplaster manufactories. Large quantities of gypsum and limestone are procured in the neighbourhood; much of the raw material is exported; and very much is manufactured, and sent off in a manufactured form. Newark plaster has long been famous, and has of late come into additional celebrity; it was the only plaster used in the construction of the International Exhibition building of 1862; and the manufactory which supplied it for that building passed into the hands of a joint-stock company in theautumn of 1865, and promised then to become the largestplaster of Paris manufactory in Europe. The town was incorporated by Edward VI.; received charters from Charles I. and Charles II.; is governed, under the newact, by a mayor, 6 aldermen, and 18 councillors; and sends two members to parliament. The borough limitsare the same parliamentary as municipally; and include all Newark parish, and a part of East Stoke parish. Corporation income in 1855, £1, 215. Amount of property and income tax charged in 1863, £4, 208. Electors in 1833, 1, 575; in 1863, 751. Pop. in 1851; 11, 330; in 1861, 11, 515. Houses, 2, 558.

The parish contains Sconce-Hill, ¼ of a mile S of the town, and Greenfield 2 miles N E; and comprises 1,889acres. Real property, £37, 864; of which £210 are inquarries, and £500 in gas-works. Pop. in 1851, 11, 321; in 1861, 11, 498. Houses, 2, 555. The living of St. Maryis a vicarage, and that of Christ church is a p. curacy, in the diocese of Lincoln. Value of the vicarage, £325; *of the p. curacy, £148.* Patron of the former, the Crown; of the latter, Trustees. The sub-district is conterminate with the parish. The district comprehends also the sub-district of North Collingham, containing the parishes of North Collingham, South Collingham, Langford, Winthorpe, Girton, North Clifton, Thorney, and South Scarle, and the extra-parochial tract of Meering, electorally in Notts, and the parishes of North Scarle and Swinderby, electorally in Lincoln; the sub-district of Bassingham, containing the parishes of Barnby-in-the-Willows and Coddington, electorally in Notts, and the parishes of Bassingham, Thurlby, Norton-Disney, Stapleford, Carlton-le-Moorland, Brant-Broughton, and Beckingham, electorally in Lincoln; the sub-district of Bennington, containing the parishes of Farndon, Hawton, Balderton, Cotham, and Kilvington, and the township of Staunton, electorally in Notts, and the parishes of Long Bennington, Westborough, Foston, East Allington, West Allington, and Sedgebrook, and the extra-parochial tract of Bennington-Grange, electorally in Lincoln; and the sub-district of Claypole, containing the parishes of Claypole, Fenton, Stragglethorpe, Fulbeck, Caythorpe, Stubton, Doddington, Hougham, Marston, Barkstone, and Syston, all electorally in Lincoln. Acres, 94, 202. Poor-rates in 1863, £13, 839. Pop. in 1851, 30, 344; in 1861, 30, 186. Houses, 6, 593. Marriages in 1863, 248; births, 1,022, of which 77 were illegitimate; deaths, 612, of which218 were at ages under 5 years, and 17 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 2, 351; births, 9, 790; deaths, 5, 957. The places of worship, in 1851, were 46of the Church of England, with 10, 419 sittings; 1 of Independents, with 1, 100 s.; 5 of Baptists, with 1, 134 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 55 s.; 32 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 6,052 s.; 1 of New Connexion Methodists, with504 s.; 9 of Primitive Methodists, with 945 s.; 1 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 100 attendants; 2 undefined, with 140 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 219 s. The schools were 32 public day schools, with 2, 310 scholars; 77 private day schools, with 1, 681 s.; 52 Sunday schools, with 4, 402 s.; and 3 evening schools for adults, with250 s. The workhouse is in Claypole; and, at the census of 1861, had 119 inmates. The hundred excludes Newark borough; and is cut into two divisions, N and S. The N div. contains North Clifton parish and eight other parishes. Acres, 19, 760. Pop. in 1851, 4, 419. Houses, 917. The S div. contains Balderton parish and fifteenother parishes. Acres, 22, 116. Pop. in 1851, 4, 548. Houses, 948. Pop. of both in 1861, 8, 613. Houses, 1,890.


(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, a sub-district, a district, and a hundred"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Newark upon Trent CP/AP       Newark SubD       Newark PLU/RegD       Nottinghamshire AncC
Place names: NEWARK     |     SIDNACESTER
Place: Newark

Go to the linked place page for a location map, and for access to other historical writing about the place. Pages for linked administrative units may contain historical statistics and information on boundaries.