In pictures: Newark’s National Civil War Centre

A new £5.4m state-of-the-art visitor centre, dedicated to the bloody civil wars fought across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland between 1638 and 1652, opens in Newark on 3 May

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Siege coins, minted in Newark. With the town sealed off the only way to keep the economy going and pay troops was to make currency locally. Coins were fabricated out of silver plate donated by local wealthy citizens, ‘liberated’ from the church or even plundered by the Newark Horse from Leicester before the siege began. Cut into a diamond shape to reduce wastage, the coins bare the legend Newark OBS – an abbreviation from the Latin for ‘under siege’ © National Civil War Centre

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This gold ring is inscribed with the words “No calamity will separate our amity”. Some families had split royalist and parliamentary loyalties; one theory about this ring is that it was given by a friend or family member to someone who was on the opposite side of the conflict © National Civil War Centre

A gold Unite coin minted to mark the Union of the Scottish and English crowns in the 1620s. This marked the high water mark of the Stuart dynasty © National Civil War Centre

Casket – probably used for jewellery – and thought to have belonged to a prominent local royalist supporter. It was found near a parliamentary position near Newark so was likely plundered © National Civil War Centre

This medallion was probably struck by Charles II in memory of his executed father. One side, showing the crown handed down from heaven, could be a reference to the Stuart’s belief that their royal authority came from God © National Civil War Centre

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The National Civil War Centre opens in Newark on 3 May. For more information visit the centre website