FREE CASTLE TOURS WITH EVERY LOTTERY TICKET

Have you purchased a lottery ticket in the last year? Every National Lottery ticket purchased helps fund heritage projects across the UK, including our very own Castle Gatehouse project. As part of the #ThanksToYou2018 campaign, FREE Newark Castle tours will be available on Sunday 16 December as a thank you.

Tours are taking place at 10am and 12 noon on the day and places are offered on a first come first serve basis. Please note, to qualify for the free tour you must be able to present a lottery ticket on the day (paper or digital ticket).

To book a place please email pr@nsdc.info including:

  • Your name
  • Contact telephone number
  • Which tour you would prefer (10am or 12 noon)
  • Amount of tickets required (please specify adults and children)

Terms and conditions:

  • One National Lottery ticket provides one free tour for up to one family of five on Sunday 16 December 2018 only.
  • National Lottery tickets for all National Lottery games can be used to qualify for the free tour, including tickets from any National Lottery draw based game or National Lottery Scratchcard.
  • To participate in this promotion National Lottery tickets must be shown (whether in hard copy or digitally).
  • The offer is valid for Sunday 16 December 2018 only. Tours will be undertaken at 10am and 12pm and will be subject to booking confirmation by return email.
  • There are restrictions on the number of people on a tour and once a tour is fully booked Newark Castle will refuse to fulfil this offer.
  • Newark Castle Dungeon tours have a restriction of over 8s only.
  • Sensible clothing and footwear must be worn and participation on tour will be declined if deemed necessary.
  • All tours include stairs with no ramp access and are not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs.
  • The Dungeon includes 18 steps of a ladder down narrow entrances into confined spaces.

Project summary

In March 2017, Newark and Sherwood District Council was successfully awarded Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Stage 1 development funding for the Castle Gatehouse project. The Gatehouse is, according to Historic England, ‘the most complete example of a Romanesque gatehouse in England’.  However, following the slighting of the Castle after the end of the Civil War, it is open to the elements and suffers from erosion and degradation due to the weather and the effects of pigeon roosting.

In order to prevent further deterioration of the Gatehouse Tower and to open up further areas of the tower to public access, plans to reinstate a roof, floors and windows have been drawn up. Displays and exhibitions would tell the rich history of the structure, where King John died 800 years ago.

The masterplan fully supports the Newark Destination Management Plan (DMP), approved earlier this year, which has targeted a significant increase in tourist numbers with major new benefits to the district’s and county’s economy.

 ‌Gatehouse project architects design

The plans include:

  • New moat bridge: This would be the ‘showcase’ Castle entrance, linking the gatehouse with Beast Market Hill and capturing visitor flow from the nearby rail and road links. Historically authentic and visually attractive, it would serve to draw in visitors and create passing interest. There would also be a new entrance gate, ramped pathway and new landscaping.
  • Restoration of the gatehouse: Described by Historic England as the ‘most complete example of a Romanesque gatehouse in England’ and scene of the death of King John 800 years ago, the structure has degraded over the centuries but would have a new roof, floors and windows as set out in the original  plans to restore the structure. The first floor timber floor would be reinstated and there would be a structure for a second floor. There would be a balcony gallery to experience the audience chamber below and an extended viewing area on top of the gatehouse, where visitors  can enjoy impressive aerial views of the Castle, wider town, the ‘pepper pot’ towers of Southwell Minster and other district landmarks.
  • Learning and event space: Cut into the bank beneath the new moat bridge, this modern underground facility would host activities and attractions in conjunction with the National Civil War Centre.
  • New pay pavilion:  Located between the North West tower and the gatehouse, this would house the ticket office and shop and provide the access point to the gatehouse interior and improve access to the dungeons. As part of the castle gatehouse project, the castle gardens will remain free public open access.
  • New rooms in the North West tower:  The ground floor room, which would not be connected to the upper floors in line with its original structural design,  would tell the story of the history of the Castle in precis and explain what visitors can experience within the attraction. Meanwhile, an additional room would be created in the North West tower by putting in new floors in line with how the Castle was originally constructed.
  • New exhibitions and interpretation displays: To be included within the two rooms and dungeon in the South West tower and under croft and these would be available for visitors on a guided tour basis to link the gatehouse with the wider experience that is available at the Castle.

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