Saturday, May 16, 2015

A couple of days in Newark, and a breezy evening cruise.

Newark is a fine town, strategically important as it stands on three major trading routes. The Roman Fosse Way crosses the Great North Road here, and the River Trent runs past it’s doorstep.

Trent Bridge, Newark, built in 1775DSC_0313


Looking across the river from Riverside Park this morningDSC_0315

The castle dominates the town, standing alongside what was the only river crossing when it was built. Originally a timber fortification, it was rebuilt in stone towards the end of the 12th century, at the behest of the Bishop of Lincoln.
The then Bishop, Alexander the Magnificent, was given permission to build the castle by Henry I, although it was down on the planning application as a palace! It went on then, too…

We had an excellent guided tour around the castle, organised by Lisa and conducted by the warden who’s name unfortunately escapes me. But you could tell she was knowledgeable and passionate about the subject.

Views around the castle…

From the top of the West Gate – downriver, north…IMG_4784


and across the town to the east.IMG_4788

The castle has two major historical claims to fame. It saw the demise, probably of peritonitis, of King John in 1216, and it fought a valiant but ultimately futile defence against Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentary forces in support of Charles I.
The garrison was ordered to surrender by the King in 1648, and was allowed to leave the castle with honour.
The structure which had protected them during the protracted siege didn’t fare so well. To prevent it being used as stronghold again it was ordered to be “slighted”, or demolished, and now only the north curtain wall and parts of the West Gate survive.

Decorative Norman arch…

…and Tudor modifications.IMG_4790

In the undercroft, essentially the castle’s larder.IMG_4794

Fine vaulted ceiling

The Bishop’s quarters were above the West GateIMG_4793

The town also contains some interesting buildings, a good market and a range of shops to satisfy most requirements. Well worth the visit.

So, back to boating. We’d arranged to head off down the tideway on Sunday morning, so decided to make for Cromwell Lock later this afternoon so we didn’t have to get off so early in the morning.
Half past four saw us waiting for the green light above Newark Nether Lock although the lockie was expecting us. There was some muddle over the light system following a temporary power cut, but by 5 o’clock we were on the river again, rejoining the main stream at Crankley Point.

Leaving Newark Nether LockIMG_4803

Joe was on a mission, winding Yarwood up, and I decided he wasn’t coming past us!IMG_4805

Cruising at around 7½ mph the 4½ miles between locks took about 35 minutes. We finished up breasted up on the moorings above the lock, time for a quick beer before we retired to our respective boats for tea.

Hoof spa

A jumble of boat roofs at Cromwell LockIMG_4811

Cormorants enjoying the evening sun on the weir barrierIMG_4814

Tomorrow we should be down at Torksey before 1 o’clock. If we’re lucky we’ll get up onto the Fossdyke when we arrive, otherwise we’ll have to wait for the evening tide to make enough for us to get into the lock.

Locks 1, miles 5


Amanda said...

I hear it was quantities of gin that were consumed!! Amanda (aka one of the WaL Boatsharers)

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Amanda! Now, you know I couldn't possibly comment!