This shows an engraving of Newark Market Place in the 1850s taken from Thomas Bailey’s ‘Annals of Nottinghamshire Vol.1’. Very little has changed about this view today.
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Dominating the square is the Palladian Town Hall designed by John Carr of York. The first stone was laid for this fine Georgian building in 1773, but the building had been in use for some time before it was possible to acquire the land to build the wing to the left. The Palladian style of the building is similar to many other buildings designed by Carr. He was a designer with a fashionable reputation as well as being a Mayor of York in 1770. He had worked with two notable architects of the time, Lord Burlington and Robert Adam. The influence of these two can be seen in various rooms of the Town Hall and most notably in the Ballroom. Other notable buildings by Carr, such as Harewood House, Bootham Lunatic Asylum and the female Debtors Prison in York, and the Royal Crescent in Buxton also bore the stamp of their influence. The final cost of the Town Hall was around £ 17,000, including the addition of two private houses which make up the North and South Wings of the building. It was built between 1774-6 of Mansfield Stone, its most dominant feature being its tall Doric columns and pediment. It incorporated a ‘shambles’ or butchers market behind the main block.
To the left of the Town Hall is the National and Provincial Bank. The predecessor of the bank started in 1794 as The Newark Bank. By 1809 this had become the ‘Welby, Godfrey and Co’s Bank’, evolving by 1829 into the ‘Messrs Godfrey’s Bank’, and in 1855 as ‘Godfrey and Hutton’s Bank’. On 1st May 1880 it became ‘Samuel Smith and Co’s Bank’, which amalgamated in 1902 with the ‘Union Bank of London’ to become the ‘Union of London and Smith’s Bank’. In 1922 the bank became ‘The National Provincial and Union Bank of England Ltd. In the early 1970’s it became The ‘National Westminster Bank’ (now called Natwest).