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Newark and Sherwood District Council will begin work today on the UK's first National Civil War Centre.
The £5.4 million project includes a £3.5 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Items to go on display include an Iron Age Newark Torc or necklace, an exquisite Anglo-Saxon gold cross, paintings from Newark-born artist Sir William Nicholson and the Byron Press, used to print a number of the early works of the Victorian poet Lord Byron.
A £4.5 million project to develop a Grade II listed building in Newark into the Uk's first civil war centre has begun.
Woodhead Heritage has promised to employ local people on the project, working with apprentices and students.
Simon Butler, from Woodhead Heritage, said:
Work has started on the nation's first civil war centre in Newark, the £4.5 million National Civil War Centre is expected to attract 60,000 visitors a year.
The struggle to control Newark, a Royalist town, was one of the defining events of the Civil War.
The centre will be the first of its kind anywhere in the UK, Councillor Tony Roberts, MBE, said, "the Centre will have vibrant galleries, trails and resources providing a thrilling experience for families."