Monday, 20 February 2012

Visit to Newark, Nottinghamshire

 We had a day trip to Newark last week on the train.  Newark is a market town and has been an important stop-off for traffic going along the the Great North Road (or A1 as it is now known).  The good thing about Newark is that it has retained some beautiful Georgian buildings and it doesn't take much imagination to visualise the carriages stopping at one of the coaching inns that surround the market square.  Although these are now mainly shops, several have plaques explaining their importance in the past and mentioning famous people who stayed there, such as Gladstone, Lord Byron and Queen Henrietta Maria.
We stopped to have lunch at this quaint cafe, and inside we admired the sloping staircase and old doors.  This is where Queen Henrietta Maria was said to have stayed.
 The frontage of one of the coaching inns - The White Hart.  Apparently, there are remnants of its history inside, but we didn't have time on this occasion to investigate.
 Newark also boasts a school of violin making and displayed violins in various stages of construction in the windows.
 This beautifully decorated room was the Ballroom in the Assembly Rooms which also houses the Art Gallery and various rooms for the Town Council and the Mayor.  The decoration was restored and repainted in the 1990s and really helps to add to the atmosphere.
Beautiful friezes and plasterwork adorn the ceiling.  What a wonderful place to hold the Assembly Balls in Regency times.  If you closed your eyes, you could almost hear the murmur of voices, the orchestra tuning up and the swish of dresses...

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