History of Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, England

The Georgian Period

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This was a less exciting period than the Stuart times, but was a time of important developments for Newark, with the return of prosperity, now based on agriculture, malting and milling.

In about 1770 the road north from Newark to Muskham (a part of the Great North Road from London to York and Edinburgh), which regularly became impassable because of flooding, was raised on a long series of arches to ensure it remained clear at all times. Since it crosses the very low-lying land between the two branches of the river, this was a very considerable improvement which proved its value again when all the surrounding land was deep under water in November 2000 but the road remained clear (unlike the branch off it to Kelham).

In 1773 the first stone was laid in the building of the Town Hall on the north-west side of the Market Place. This required a special Act of Parliament, which also provided for the enlargement of the churchyard and improved access to it.

The old bridge over the river just below the castle had been repaired a number of times, usually only after reaching a dilapidated condition, and was once again in a very poor state. The Duke of Newcastle, who was now Lord of the Manor and major landowner in the area, had a new bridge built of brick with stone facing in 1775. It was further improved in 1848 and is still in use.

In 1786 a new workhouse was built just south of Beaumond Cross, on the site now occupied by the Castle Brewery, and the town gaol was established immediately adjacent to it, replacing a tiny old building in the Market Place. In 1817 a union of twenty local parishes built a new workhouse with a farm for the able-bodied poor at the nearby village of Claypole, but the old, infirm and children remained in the older building.


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This page last updated 1st September 2003