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Newark set to undergo siege to mark UK’S first Civil War Centre opening

An epic clash of arms will mark the launch of the UK’s first National Civil War Centre in Newark on 3 and 4 May 2015

The £5.4m attraction by Newark and Sherwood District Council will open in the magnificent Grade II* Old Magnus Building on Appletongate, currently undergoing a massive restoration project, backed by £3.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

Nearly 900 Civil War re-enactors and a battery of cannons from across the UK will descend on the market town, reviving memories of the three sieges it endured during the 17th British Civil Wars. 

The deadly struggle by the Royalists to hold the Queen’s Sconce earthen fort against Parliamentary and Scottish foes will be re-enacted, while other troops face each other over the River Trent at Newark Castle.  The command post for entire spectacular weekend will be in the Old Magnus Building, which survived a Civil War bombardment. 

Michael Constantine, Business Manager with the National Civil War Centre, explained:

“This will be an incredible Bank Holiday weekend and the biggest Civil War re-enactment held in the region.  The National Civil War Centre is a huge development for the whole area, which will have a tremendous impact on the town. Such a major project deserves to be launched on a truly grand scale.” 

Other highlights will include living history camps, 17th century medicine, craft displays, arms drills, set-piece battles and a recreation of the final dramatic moments of the third siege, when the bedraggled Royalist garrison marched out with its flags flying after surrendering. Groups taking part will include The Sealed Knot, English Civil War Society and History Re-enactment Workshop. 

Howard Giles, from EventPlan Ltd, who are co-ordinating the event on behalf of the National Civil War Centre, explained: 

“What makes this re-enactment so special is the fact that Newark has such compelling Civil War stories, not just about great figures such as Prince Rupert, but about the ordinary townspeople.  The last siege of Newark during the bad winter of 1645 put civilians in the front line and many of the key historic locations are intact. The agony extended for six months, leaving an indelible imprint on the town, even to this day.”

Posted on 12 December 2014

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