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Moat to protect Newark Castle found during sewer works

By Advertiser Reporter

Part of the original moat used to defend Newark Castle during the English Civil War
Part of the original moat used to defend Newark Castle during the English Civil War

A moat created to defend Newark Castle has been revealed as part of sewer works in the town.

Severn Trent made the discovery while working on Castlegate.

Archaeologists have also found animal bones and green glazed pottery dating from the 13 and 14 centuries.

Floss Newman, warden at Newark Castle, said: “This is an incredibly important find for Newark and the castle.

“We have read about there being a moat and mention it as part of tours so to have this find confirming the existence of the moat brings it to reality.”

The latest discovery adds to several finds already uncovered during Severn Trent’s work, including a defensive ditch along Queens Road dating to the third siege of Newark, in 1645-1646.

Senior project archaeologist with Trent & Peak Archaeology, Vicky Owen, said: “This is a fantastic find.

“Documents indicate that Newark Castle was founded by around 1135AD by Bishop Alexander with the permission of King Henry I.

“The resulting castle, with a ditch and rampart large enough to divert the Fosseway, would have dominated this part of the town.

“The portion of the moat we’ve been able to excavate contains animal bones and green glazed pottery dating broadly from the 13th and 14th centuries. This suggests that the ditch began infilling around the time that this part of castle began to fall into decay.”

The company programme engineer, Mr Nick Wallace, said: “It’s really exciting we’ve been able to reveal these glimpses of Newark’s hidden heritage during out work.

“We’re unveiling new information which adds to the already rich story of the development of the town.

“These findings are really fascinating.”

Work on Castlegate began on February 19 and is due to finish in June. During that period, traffic can only flow southbound between the Beastmarket Hill roundabout and Newark Bus Station.

Severn Trent, through BNM Alliance, is currently working on the £60m programme to protect hundreds of homes from sewer flooding.


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