Newark Castle Gatehouse Project

Ambitious plans to create a new and improved visitor attraction at Newark Castle are underway. This ground-breaking project will see Newark Castle’s original Romanesque Gatehouse, named by Historic England as the most complete example of such a structure in England, reinstated as the spectacular entrance just as it was centuries ago.

The project has received funding from the Government’s Towns Fund initiative, with £3million to deliver the Castle Gatehouse project.  The District Council has further submitted a bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for a further £1.4million; it is hoped that this application will be successful and an announcement will be made in spring 2024. 

The new entrance will lead to five gallery spaces which follow the castle’s story through time and bring its medieval history to life through fascinating, fun and interactive interpretation including models, real and replica tactile objects and furniture, embroideries, trails and play.

There will also be a tower-top viewing platform from which visitors can overlook great views of Trent Valley. These have been a focus of the project which also aims to enhance and protect the natural environment and green space within this historic site, establishing more biodiversity and enhancing accessibility through landscape development.

The development incorporates a new facility beneath the gatehouse bridge which will be used for both learning visits and for community groups and outreach, providing an extra space in the centre of town for residents to come together.

The project team is working on designs in response to consultation carried out in 2023. Read more about the consultation on the Buildings Bridges page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I have to pay to get in?

Access to the grounds will remain free for everyone. It is proposed that entry to the galleries will be £8 for adults, half price for Newark and Sherwood residents (just £4 for adults) with free entry for children and young people. Tickets will give you access to the castle exhibitions for 12 months.

Is there anything inside?

Newark Castle isn’t just a ruined wall! We plan to open up the small rooms, corridors and a spiral staircase which are currently hidden behind closed doors. We will re-roof the Gatehouse and reinstate the first and second floors so that visitors can enjoy exploring inside the Norman castle, seeing views from the upper windows that haven’t been seen for nearly 400 years.

Why are you changing the gardens?

The gardens were developed in the Victorian era with a commitment to provide a public space for everyone to enjoy. However, this did not account for modern accessibility standards or the impact of climate change. The plans include improved routes for wheelchair users, people with low mobility and those with prams or pushchairs. You asked us for more places to sit, so we have increased the number of benches.

Expert ecologists have been consulted to create a planting scheme which is more wildlife friendly and drought tolerant, creating habitats and feeding places for insects, bees and birds, and incorporating bat and moth friendly lighting and bat roosts.

We hope to add a play trail for children, to help our younger visitors explore and enjoy the gardens in new ways, although this does not include park-style play equipment.

Are you going to fix the lights?

Designs include a new lighting scheme for the castle and gardens. Beautifully designed floodlighting will highlight the castle’s architectural features both inside and outside the walls. We plan to enable a safe ‘after dark’ experience, with lit paths and improvements to event lighting. Recent bat surveys have confirmed that bats forage and commute through the gardens and along the river corridor. Lighting in trees can be extremely disturbing to bats, so we have taken the decision to exclude lit trees from the scheme.

Are you doing more events?

Yes! If our application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund is successful, the Building Bridges Project will fund a programme of free participation activities for people of all ages. There will be events large and small, to help communities and visitors learn more about the history of Newark Castle and enjoy it in new ways.

The development incorporates a new facility beneath the gatehouse bridge which will be used for both learning visits and for community groups and outreach, providing an extra space in the centre of town for residents to come together.

Can I volunteer?

There will be plenty of opportunities for volunteering to help in the castle and garden. Keep an eye on this page or follow our social media to find out more later this year. Right now, we would like to hear from you if you were involved in any castle archaeological investigations from the 1950s to 1990s – please get in touch on

Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy sets out how we will collect and use your personal data.

The personal information you provide will be used by Newark and Sherwood District Council, the Data Controller, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and UK GDPR to facilitate ticket sale(s) and administer events and services delivered through Newark Castle.

The purposes for which we collect your personal data

We collect and process the following types of information:

  • information that you provide to us when you register for an account, for the purposes of purchasing tickets, subscribing to our newsletter services or requesting further information or services
  • information you provide when completing our surveys that we use for research purposes, although you do not have to respond to them
  • if you contact us, we may keep a record of that correspondence
  • details of your visits to the website including, but not limited to, traffic data, location data, weblogs and other communication data, and the resources that you access

The basis for processing this information is your consent and where necessary for the performance of a contract.

Who we will share your personal data with

Some of your personal information will be shared with Spektrix, our data processor, used in connection with allocating seats and providing tickets in relation to events. We will only share the minimum data necessary for this purpose.

When we send you emails for example via our newsletter, we will share your data with DotDigital who distribute the newsletters and email on our behalf.

If booking for an Open Doors event, you will receive an evaluation survey after you have attended the event. As we receive funding from Arts Council England, we are required to provide data to the Arts Council England Illuminate Platform for their ongoing monitoring. The responses you provide within the surveys will be shared with them. For more information please see or contact the Box Office at

We will not share your data with any other third party.

How we will process your personal data

Your personal data will be kept securely and in accordance with the Council’s retention policy and schedule. Details of which can be found on in the Council’s asset register on our website:

Exercising your rights

Under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK GDPR you have the following rights:

  • the right of access to your own personal data
  • the right to request rectification or deletion of your personal data
  • the right to object to the processing of your personal data
  • the right to request a copy of the information you provide us in machine-readable format
  • the right to withdraw your consent to any processing that is solely reliant upon your consent

Should you wish to exercise any of your rights, you should contact the Data Protection Officer.


Telephone:  01636 655216

Making a complaint

In the event that you wish to complain about the way that your personal data has been handled by Newark and Sherwood District Council, you should write to the Data Protection Officer and clearly outline your case.

If you remain dissatisfied with the way your personal data has been handled, you may refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office whose contact details are below:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane