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Civil War Themes – Primary

The complexity of civil strife

The story of Newark leading up to the English Civil War can be seen as a microcosm revealing the complexity of issues behind the conflict in towns throughout the country, including religious upheaval and political power struggles – causes of Civil War throughout the world even today.

The key to the Kingdom

The market town of Newark was transformed into a much contested Royalist stronghold during the English Civil War as it occupied a strategic location on the Great North Road, the Fosse Way, and the River Trent, ensuring that whichever side controlled the town held the ‘Key to the Kingdom’, disrupting communications, supply routes, and troop movements by the other.

Siege as strategy

The extensive nature of Newark’s well-preserved siege works and the detail on its rare surviving 1646 Parliamentarian siege plan signify the importance of sieges in military strategy during the Civil War as well as the skill of military engineers.

How to survive a Civil War (the resilience of ordinary people)

The experiences of Newark residents during the English Civil War, as evidenced by surviving archival documents and objects such as siege coins, typify hardships shared by many throughout England at the time and illustrate the resilience of ordinary people in the path of war.

The legacy of Civil War

The legacy of the English Civil War continues to affect citizens of Newark and the nation today, resulting in our current form of parliamentary democracy, transforming our attitudes towards the monarchy, religion, and the church, and shaping relationships with Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

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