HLF funding bid success

An ambitious plan to turn Newark Castle’s historic Gatehouse into a major new visitor attraction has been awarded funding, thanks to National Lottery players.

Newark and Sherwood District Council has been awarded a first-round pass by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its Newark Castle Gatehouse Transformation Project.

The project aims to restore the Gatehouse area of the Castle (where King John died 800 years ago) by the addition of a roof, floors and windows. This will both protect the structure from future degradation and open up a series of new rooms which will allow for additional interpretation and exhibitions. In addition a new entrance into the gatehouse via the Castle’s North West tower will allow for a separate, paying attraction to be developed which will greatly assist with the sustainability of the site.  

Development funding of £84,000, made possible by National Lottery players has been awarded to help the Council progress its plans to a stage where it can apply for a full grant at a later date.

Newark Castle has stood on the banks of the River Trent for 900 years and is a focal point for Newark and a source of pride for residents. The scheduled ancient monument is one of the finest surviving Norman Gatehouses in the country. The Castle was largely reduced to a shell of its former self after Oliver Cromwell ordered it to be put beyond military use during the 17th century English Civil Wars, however much of the original Gatehouse structure remains today.

The project will house a key educational resource featuring King John, Norman crime and punishment, the outlaw sub-culture that surrounded the mythical Nottinghamshire hero Robin Hood and the castle’s pivotal role in Newark’s Civil War history.

It will feature among a cluster of heritage attractions with Lincoln – with its copy of the historic Magna Carta which was sealed by King John – and Nottingham – with its Robin Hood legacy – both close by.

Last year the Castle marked the 800th anniversary of King John’s death with a re-enactment from Regia Anglorum. With the renovations to the Castle visitors will get a real sense of what life was like when King John spent his final hours in the Gatehouse.

Castle warden Floss Newman said:  “We are so excited to announce we have received this heritage lottery funding. It will bring a whole new dimension to the Castle and enrich Newark’s history even more.”

For more information and to keep up to date with the progress of the project visit our dedicated Facebook page

  • Regular tours of the castle and gardens
  • Green Flag garden areas with seating
  • Access to the castle's walls and dungeons
  • Site of King John's death in 1216
  • Part of the Civil War Trail.
  • Bandstand for seasonal concerts
  • Surfaced pathways suitable for wheelchairs
  • Nearest Public Toilets are located in the Gilstrap Centre
  • Nearby parking
  • Close to shopping areas and historic market place
  • Get married at Newark Castle

Guided Tours of Newark Castle

Guided tours of the Castle are conducted by the Castle Warden and volunteers every week. 

For reviews of the tours or to leave your own feedback visit the Castle's Trip Advisor page.

Please note, the Dungeon Tour involves climbing up and down a steep ladder. Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear.

King John exhibition

Find out about King John and his links to Newark Castle with this informative exhibition 

Exhibition opening times:

Please note the King John exhibit will be closed on Sunday 14 May.

Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 10am to 2pm

Volunteers Celebration Event

On Sunday 11 June we are holding a special celebration event to say thank you to our many local volunteers from across the district. 

The castle grounds will be closed to the public 1pm to 4pm

Friends of Newark Castle

Newark Castle Wall and RuinsThe Friends of Newark Castle and Gardens is a group of volunteers which assists the council with the management and maintenance of the castle gardens. The group represents different users of the castle and grounds and advises the council on how to meet their diverse needs. The friends meet monthly and new members are always welcome. For further details please contact the council.

For further information or to join the Friends of Newark Castle and Gardens, please contact Allan Towler by email allan.towler@btinternet.com 

Paranormal Groups please contact Floss for information on investigations: floss.newman@nsdc.info

Volunteer at Newark Castle

Newark Castle Volunteer Poster

  • 01636 650000

    Mon to Thurs 8.30am to 5.15pm
    Friday 8.30am to 4.45pm

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  • Get in touch:

    Newark and Sherwood District Council
    Kelham Hall
    NG23 5QX

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