By Steve Benney

6) Palace Theatre

Once in Appleton Gate, turn left and walk towards the church. Appleton Gate (named after the orchard belonging to an Austin Friary that once existed here), is lined with many grand Georgian properties.

Just past the parish church is the Palace Theatre, which opened as a cinema and playhouse in 1920. The theatre still hosts a wide range of shows and performances including live theatre, musicals, plays and ballet.

7) St Mary Magdalene Church

Retrace your steps along Appleton Gate and turn right into Church Walk. Alongside the church you will notice a tall brick stack. This is the old chimney from the church heating boiler. The designers, not wishing to spoil the architecture of this magnificent building, wisely constructed it outside; a fairly common practice in the 19th-C.

Continue along Church Walk and exit into Church Street. The church's slender octagonal spire, towering above you, has four tiers of dormer windows. On the far side of the church is a pleasant garden area (Garden of Remembrance). If you look carefully at the spire from this side you will notice a small hole below one of the main windows, said to have been caused by cannon fire during the civil war.

8) Kirk Gate

Leave the churchyard and cross over the road into Kirk Gate. This narrow street, leading from the church to the river, is lined with many interesting brick, stone and timber-framed buildings. At the entrance to the street you will notice a large building in Italian gothic style with a stubby tower, dating from 1887. This was formerly a bank and now houses a school of violin making, one of only a few remaining in Europe. Next to this building is the fine timber-framed "Charles I Coffee House", previously owned by the church, where Queen Henrietta-Maria once stayed.

A little further along to the left is a very elegant timber-framed building (circa 1337), once a rich merchant's house, with an overhanging upper story and curved timbers.

A little further along, across the road, you will find the King's Arms, where the arms of the house of Hanover are carved above its doorway.

9) Newark Castle

The castle ruin is the result of the vengeful Cromwellian forces that captured the town in 1646. The original Norman castle was constructed in 1129 for Bishop Alexander. It was here in 1216 that the tyrannical King John died, after being stricken with a mysterious illness at Sleaford. The grand gatehouse, part of the original castle structure, was robbed of much of its fine facing stones for use in local building projects, but is still a very impressive sight.

Just opposite the castle is a remarkable Victorian extravaganza, the Ossington Coffee Palace, Built by Lady Ossington to promote the cause of temperance and to try and temp travellers on the Great North Road away from the many taverns in the town. Today it is an Italian restaurant, which ironically serves wine and beer along with its fare.

10) Town Bridge

The old town bridge (known as Trent Bridge) carries the Great North Road across seven semi-circular stone arches with a total span of 170 feet. Originally a wooden bridge was constructed on the site in the 12th-C, soon after the building of castle. The current stone structure was added in 1775.

Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts building can be seen downstream from the bridge (on the left).

Go back to Part 1

More Newark Town Trails

Several interesting themed Town trail leaflets for Newark-on-Trent are available online from the Newark Civic Trust website.

Map of Newark Town Trail

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