Siege of Newark with Patrick Mercer OBE – 16th June
Newark was besieged three times: in 1643, 1644, and from 1645-1646. It was targeted by both sides because it was of strategic importance. Newark had two strategically significant roads: The Great North Way and Fosse Way. The Royalists needed to control Newark because was a strategic connecting point for their headquarters in Oxford with Royalist strongholds in the northeast of England.
Your guide Patrick Mercer, OBE will be explaining the events leading up to this siege and the sequence of events. He will be analysing the topography, the various plans and orders, how the commanders communicated, the decisions which won and lost the battle, the actions of those in command and individual acts of heroism.
Lunch at the Castle Barge
Lovely pub overlooking the river at Town Wharf Riverside
Option to visit the English Civil War Centre
THE NATIONAL CIVIL WAR CENTRE is housed in a fascinating building spanning five centuries: a 1529 Tudor core, Georgian schoolhouse, Victorian additions and modern glass carapace. The storytelling, however, is pure 21st century.
The artifacts are given room to breathe. There is minimal text on the wall with optional “digging deeper” information paddles, where visitors can read more if they choose. The almost-obligatory armour-and-musket displays are supplemented by fascinating items showing how ordinary life continued as best it could. From what folk ate and drank to what it was like to billet soldiers in your home, diamond-shaped coins minted during the siege to valuables buried by terrified people that never returned for them, a fearful, claustrophobic existence is evoked in displays, artifacts and hands-on experiences. There is something deeply personal about standing in front of the near-complete last outfit worn by 26-year-old John Hussey and noting the hole blasted through the armoured breastplate matches the one in the buff coat underneath, both gifts from the musket ball with his name on it.