National Civil War Centre completed by Woodhead Heritage

It was possibly Britain’s deadliest conflict and one which shaped our modern world.

Today (Friday 25 September) HRH The Earl of Wessex officially opened the UK’s first ever visitor attraction dedicated to telling the epic story of the 17th century British Civil Wars.

The National Civil War Centre in Newark is a flagship £5.4m project by Newark and Sherwood District Council supported by £3.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and delivered by local building conservation specialists Woodhead Heritage of Nottinghamshire.

Before unveiling a plaque to mark the occasion, HRH The Earl of Wessex toured the exhibition galleries housed in the restored Grade II* Old Magnus Building, which began life as a Tudor grammar school, and met key figures involved in the scheme.

He was also able to glimpse 400 year old graffiti penned by naughty school boys in the Tudor attic – preserved as part of the project – and handled a priceless golden Iron Age necklace, found nearby by a local metal detectorist and now returned to Newark from the British Museum.

The Prince also logged on to an augmented reality National Civil War Trail app by holding up a tablet at a portrait of King Charles I and listen to the ill-fated monarch asking his people to stand with him and fight the “Parliamentarian rabble”. This fresh and exciting approach to story telling is make history more accessible than ever to a new audience.

Michael Constantine, Manager at the National Civil War Centre, said:

“We have been open to the public since May, attracting nearly 1,000 visitors each week, but this official Royal opening is a huge event for us. It has taken a lot of hard work and vision to get to this point, but the National Civil War Centre is already having a big impact on the economy and introducing many people to this pivotal period in our history for the first time. We thank all those who have helped us arrive at this special day.”

Atul Patel, Trustee at the Heritage Lottery Fund, said:

“The British Civil Wars were a founding episode of our modern state but are still a great mystery to many. So it’s incredibly exciting to help launch this new centre which is fast becoming the go-to place to discover this important history. A special thanks to the thousands of National Lottery players without whom our investment would not have been possible”

The National Civil War Centre, on Appletongate, is open daily from 10am to 5pm.

Take a look at the conservation and watch the video:

HRH The Earl of Wessex official opens the new National Civil War Centre – credited to shaunflanneryphotography.com

Press release kindly provided by The National Civil War Centre.  further media enquires to:

Richard Darn

ichard@richarddarn.com