A Newark Timeline : Part 1

From earliest times to 1299

AD 250 – 410  The Romans

Newark & District occupied by the Romans

AD 410 – 560  The Angles

The Angles invade the district.  Urns containing burnt bones, buried by the Angles, were found in Millgate in 1836.

The ‘New-wark’ was founded (as distinct from the ‘Ald-wark’ which is supposed to have been on the Fosse Road near Farndon.

AD 627 

Paulinus, Missionary Bishop from Rome, was in Newark District.  He undertook Christian baptisms in the River Trent near Newark (at Fiskerton?)

AD 829  (First?) Newark Castle

King Egbert builds a fort at Newark and conquers the Mercian kingdom

AD 868  The Danes &  the ‘Vikings’

The Danes and Vikings sweep up the rivers Humber and Trent to Nottingham (passing through Newark).

AD 922  The Danes

King Edward the Elder conquers the Danes in Mercia

AD c. 950 The Saxons

In Saxon times the nucleus of the town of Newark is thought to have been contained within the triangle formed by Kirkgate, Stodman Street and the river (See TODD, Malcolm ‘Excavations on the Medieval Defences of Newark’in Transactions of the Thoroton Society LXXVIII (1974) pp.27-53).

In recent years Saxon burials have been found at Newark Castle – Click HERE for details.

AD 1000  Newark in 1000

Click HERE for an overview of what Newark was like in the year 1000


1041  The name ‘Newark’ is first coined(?)

Town rebuilt on the accession of of Edward the Confessor, and called ‘New-wark’

1055  Lady Godiva

The Countess Godiva gives her manor of Newark to the Monastery of St.Mary at Stow near Lincoln.  Godiva was the sister to the Sheriff of Lincolnshire, and her husband, Earl Leofric of Mercia, was friend and companion to King Edward the Confessor.  (The Countess Godiva is famed for having ridden naked on horseback through the streets of Coventry in the year 1040 to save the inhabitants from the exactions of her husband who promised to remove them if she would undergo the ordeal).

1072  Lady Godiva

William the Conqueror confirms the gift of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, and his wife, Godiva, of the Manor of Newark to Stow Monastery.

1123  Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln; Newark Castle

Alexander (afterwards known as ‘The Magnificent’) becomes Bishop of Lincoln and commences the building a castle at Newark.

1130 – 1135   Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln; Newark Castle; Bridge over the Trent; St.Leonard’s Hospital

Newark Castle in course of construction by Bishop Alexander ‘The Magnificent’.

Charter granted by Henry I to Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln, to build a bridge over the River Trent beside Newark Castle.

St.Leonard’s Hospital founded by the Bishop of Lincoln.

1135  Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln; Newark Castle; Market & Fair

First written reference to the building of Newark Castle, contained in a Charter of Henry I in which he granted the Bishop of Lincoln a guard of soldiers to be stationed at the castle.

Henry I also grants to the Bishop the right to hold a Fair (or market) of five days to be held on the feast of St.Mary Magdalene and four days preceding.  The fair is believed to have been held at Newark Castle.

1137  Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln

Bishop Alexander supports Stephen’s claim to the throne and accompanies the king to Normandy.

1139  Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln; Newark Castle

In June 1139 there took place a quarrel between King Stephen and Bishop Alexander who supported Matilda’s claim to the Crown.  King Stephen (then at Devizes) demands the keys to Newark Castle.  The king seizes the Bishop and imprisons him at Oxford, then brings him to Newark and orders him to fast.

1145  Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln

Bishop Alexander visits Rome

1148  Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln

Bishop Alexander dies at Lincoln (in the early part of the year)

1160  Newark Parish Church

Newark church is united to the Priory of St.Catherine juxta Lincoln.

1164  Market & Fair

Henry II confirms the Charter given to the Bishop of Lincoln (in 1135) for the right to hold a fair of five days in Newark on the feast of St.Mary Magdalene and four days preceding.  The fair is believed to have been held at Newark Castle.

1180  Newark Parish Church; Newark Castle; (King) John

The building of Newark parish church is commenced.  It is not entirely finished until about 300 years later.  The oldest parts of the church are the four pillars of the nave at the entrance to the chancel, and also the crypt.

King Henry II and his sons, Geoffrey and John, visit Newark Castle

1185  Hospital for Knights Templars

“A hospital granted to the Knights Templars, for the use of sick persons, was this year founded at Newark”  (Nottingham Date Book, Part 1, p.27)

1205  King John; Newark Castle

King John arrives at Newark Castle on his first visit on 3rd October 1205.

1207  King John

King John at Newark 29th – 30th May 1207

1213   King John

King John at Newark 15th February 1213

1215  King John

King John’s fifth visit to Newark 28th, 29th & 30th December 1215

1216  King John; Newark Castle; Robert de Gaugi

King John gives Newark Castle to Robert de Gaugi, a soldier of fortune

King John arrives at Newark Castle having been carried in a litter from Sleaford in Lincolnshire – 16th October 1216

19th October 1216 – King John dies at Newark Castle

1217   Henry III

Whitsuntide – William, the Earl Mareschal (Regent of Henry III, the boy-King) at Newark with the Earls of Chester, Salisbury, Albermarle and Ferrers; the Pope’s Legate and the Bishop of Winchester, attended by over 600 knights and bowmen, as well as a numerous following of other soldiery.  They stayed three days at Newark and then made a sudden march on Lincoln, then held by a French army which had invaded England in the hope of conquering the boy-King’s realm.  The Earl Mareschal’s forces were victorious and the French leader, the Count of Perche, fell on the field.

1217  NewarkCastle

Newark Castle is besieged for a week in July 1218, being bombarded with stone-throwing engines.  Robert de Gaugi (who had been gifted the castle the previous year by King John) refuses to give up the castle to the Bishop of Lincoln.  De Gaugi is bought out for £100.

1227  The Parish Church

King Henry III orders the Sheriff of Nottingham to allow the Canons to have six oaks from Sherwood Forest for repairing Newark parish church.

1228  Henry III

23rd November 1228 – King Henry III dates a Charter from Newark, showing that he was in the town at that time.

1230  The parish Church (tower)

Building of the tower of Newark parish church commenced

1238  Grammar School

Dispute between Cardinal Stephen, Chancellor of Southwell Minster, and the Convent of St.Catherine  near Lincoln, as to the jurisdiction over Newark Grammar School.  (Newark parish church was united with the Convent of St Catherine in 1160 – see above).

1253  Boniface, Archbishop of Canterbury

Visit of Boniface, Archbishop of Canterbury, to Newark.

1270   Henry de Newark

Henry de Newark (afterwards Archbishop of York) holds the living of Barnby

1271   Holy Trinity Guild

Deed of sale of land in Baldertongate to the Holy Trinity Guild

1279  Newark Castle; King Edward I

King Edward I at Newark Castle

1284  Newark Castle; King Edward I

King Edward I at Newark Castle

1286  The parish Church; Chantry; William de Newark

Death of Archdeacon William de Newark who founded a Chantry in Newark parish church

1290   Church; Chantry; Henry de Newark

Henry de Newark, Dean of York, becomes the first to endow Chantry Priests at Newark parish church

1296  Newark Castle; King Edward I

King Edward I at Newark Castle

Forward to Timeline Part 2 (1300 – 1499)