From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present

St. Mary Magdalene, Newark

53° 4' 35.9" N 0° 48' 28.7" W
SK 7953

  • History
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
The church of St. Mary Magdalene, one of the largest parish churches of England, is located at Newark, Nottinghamshire. The tower and the octagonal spire is 223 ft. high. The central piers remain from the previous church, dating from the 11th or 12th century. The upper parts of the tower and spire were completed about 1350 and the nave dates from between 1384 and 1393, the chancel from 1489.

The sanctuary is bounded on the south and north by two chantry chapels, the former of which has on one of its panels a remarkable painting from the Dance of Death. There are a few old monuments, and an exceedingly fine brass of the 14th century.

In the seventeenth century the church tower served as a look-out point for the Newark garrison during the Civil War sieges and the spire still bears a cannon-ball hole. This hole is visible from some parts of the town centre. The Church was badly damaged in the siege and extensively repaired in the 1650’s & 1660’s. An inscription on a pillar near to the restored font bowl says ‘demolished by rebels May 9th 1646’ After the capitulation of the town, on the orders of Charles I himself, Parliamentarian soldiers are said to have stabled their horses in the church and the font was certainly damaged, later to be re-built by the charity of Nicholas Ridley. Most of the stained glass windows which had survived the Reformation were destroyed at this time, though fragments were gathered together and can now be seen in the east window of the south choir aisle, re-arranged by Miss Joan Howson of Oxford University in 1957.