Newark Castle and Gardens

Built 900 years ago, Newark Castle was once the glamorous palace of Bishop Alexander ‘the Magnificent’ of Lincoln. The Castle Gatehouse Project will reinstate some rooms in Bishop Alexander’s castle, revealing the colourful stories and characters of the medieval world. For now, visitors can enjoy the ruined 12 century monument set in beautifully maintained Green Flag winning gardens, with the river Trent flowing alongside.

Newark Castle has been home to a court of law, soldiers’ garrison, cattle market and bath house. It has been a romantic ruin, coal wharf and public pleasure garden. Now it is host to re-enactments, weddings, music festivals and playdays. Constantly changing, but always central to the heart of Newark life.

Archaeologists have been exploring the secrets of Newark Castle for 150 years. Learn about the latest discoveries from February 2024 in our short film. The team found evidence of industrial buildings from the mid-nineteenth century phase of the castle’s life, shown in this pre-1880 photograph (PDF File, 1,078kb).


Our dedicated volunteer researchers at Newark Castle have been hard at work uncovering the secrets of this historic site! From mysterious gargoyles to ancient graffiti, they've left no stone unturned. Watch the video below to learn more about their fascinating discoveries and the famous bishops who once roamed Newark Castle.

General visitor information

Castle Closures

Upcoming Castle closures will be listed here.


Check back here for more events, coming soon.

School visits

School visits are led by the Learning Team at the National Civil War Centre. Find out more about school visits on the National Civil War Centre website or email to discuss your requirements.

Getting married at Newark Castle

We’ve licensed the Castle for weddings in order to help create an income that can be reinvested in the preservation of the listed building.

Find out more about getting married at Newark Castle.

Friends of Newark Castle

The Friends of Newark Castle are a group of volunteers who assist the council with the management and maintenance of the castle and gardens.

The groups represents different users of the castle and grounds and advises the council on how to meet their diverse needs. The friends meet monthly and new members are always welcome. Get in touch on or call 01636 655714.

Newark Castle is perhaps best known as the death-place of King John in 1216. Find out more about King John.

During the British Civil Wars, Newark was besieged three times, but the town and castle remained loyal to the Royalist cause. Along the riverside, you can spot marks from hundreds of cannonballs which bombarded the walls in the 1640s. Find out more about this turbulent time in the town’s history by visiting the National Civil War Centre.