Clifford's Tower was originally built by William the Conquerer and was later rebuilt in stone as the original Tower was built out of wood and was destroyed many times by fire or through bad weather. It is believed that the tower was named after Roger De Clifford who was hanged at the tower in 1322.
Once you are inside Clifford's Tower there is very little to do so I personally would not recommend paying to get in, all you can do is walk around the inside of the tower. However, there are some nice views if you climb up the steps but you can do that at other attractions in York.
A wooden keep stood on this site in 1190 when it was burnt down - it had stood there since 1068. The Jewish community had taken refuge in the tower and Yorks citizens laid them to siege here - many of the people in the tower fearing the crowds committed suicide and set fire to the wooden tower. The survivors were massacred by the crowds. The Kings Chancellor made the people of York pay for this atrocity and the city leaders were all dismissed from their posts although no citizens were brought to justice.
The tower you see today was built in the latter half of the thirteenth century an it was rebuilt in stone. Built to a quatrefoil plan there is no other example in England. It became Cliifords Tower when it was named after Roger de Clifford who was hanged here in 1322.
It is a steep climb up to the tower - beware of leg cramps that many people get when climbing up. Of course not possible for disabled people.
Entrance is £4.00 (in 2012)
Open daily 10-4pm
William the conqueror built two castles in York. His main castle was begun in 1068. This castle was made of wood and the keep (a fortified tower ) was destroyed by local rebellions and a Viking army within a year of being built. The keep was rebuilt but was again burned down in 1190.
In the second half of the 13th Century the keep was again built but this time in stone. The keep was come to be known as Clifford’s tower after Roger De Clifford was hanged here in 1322.
Since XIth century this silent witness of York history stands over its motte being the only survivor of a complete and huge Norman castle with baileys and pit around. Remains of the external bailey can be seen around Castle Museum at feet of the hill giving an idea of its original size.
The first building, built by William the Conqueror while his raid over saxons and danes, was of timber but by end of XIIth century after the notorious and tragic York's jews massacre -they hide inside the timber tower- it was rebuilt in stone.
The tower owes its name to Clifford family who were constables there and, in fact, one of the stone carved shields over the entrance is that one from the family. This 'realist' castle was under siege by parlamentarians while Civil War. Clifford's tower burnt years after, becoming an empty stone shell that had to be rebuilt. In XVIIIth century famous highwayman Dick Turpin was imprisoned here. Fortress, treasury, gaol, mint, and many other uses were given trough the centuries to this veteran and exceptional building that has a great historic importance.
Thanks to its emplacement, this one is perhaps the best place to get a York's bird view. From the upper floor you enjoy a superb 360 degree panoramic, especially from the Minster, nearby Fairfax House or from Castle's Museum and Assize Courts at its feet. But climbing there, especially when rainy weather, means ascend a narrow slippery stoned stairway so...use your hands to get the iron railings!
As a practical curiosity: into its inner courtyard there's a gift shop which I discovered to have some different items from those ones you can get at any other York shops. Here I found a perfect and complete pocket York's plan I could't find anywhere. Taking a glance may be worthy!
I've visited Clifford Tower before but we decided recently that we'll go up for the views.
The same site originally held York Castle, which was built from 1068 by William the Conqueror. The purpose of the castle was to defend anti Norm invasion from the North. In 1190 part of the castle of burnt down, during a siege by members of the Jewish community whom had taken refuge there. Due to a continent-wide persecution of the Jews by the Crusaders and the repercussions led to Jews committing suicide and setting the castle alight. You can see a memorial stone next the cafe entrance in memory of the Jews who died.
York Castle was built in stone by the order of King Henry III in the 13th Century. The Castle's keep became known as Clifford Tower which came from Roger de Clifford's hanging. Clifford Tower was used in the 17th Century to defend the city during the Civil War. The tower came into decline since the middle ages but it was fought to keep the tower as a landmark, which today is owned by English Heritage.
It cost us 4 gbp (April 2012) but free to English Heritage Members to look around. There are great views of York as well as learning about the tower's history. Please check out the website for more visitors information.
I arrived at Clifford's Tower on a very wet day in York! Without an umbrella, Clifford's Tower didn't look appealing at all, so I decided to give it a miss, I didn't want to get any wetter than I already was.
This Tower was built between 1245 and 1272.
Because of the rain, I didn't see the view's of York from the top of the Tower, but at least I did get to see the Tower sitting on top of a large mound in the heart of Old York.
This is all that remain's of York Castle, which was originally built by William the Conqueror. It was burnt to the ground, and then rebuilt.
Apart from Clifford's Tower, very little of the castle's medieval stonework now survives, having been replaced during the 18th century.
During its' time, the Tower has served as a prison and a royal mint, as well as the place where Henry VIII had the bodies of his enemies put on public display.
ADMISSION IN 2011....£3.90
FREE WITH ENGLISH HERITAGE PASS
OPEN most days from 10 - 4pm daily
Check the website for more information on times.
The main advantage to a visit to Cliffords Tower must be the opportunity to see the amazing views across York. The views from here are much better than from York Minster's tower, possibly because the climb is less exhausting and you can look AT York Minster across the city.
The Tower is all that is left of York Castle and it is only a small site which won't take long to visit but as it is so close to many other attractions it is worth the effort.
Cost is only £3.50 and free to English Heritage members and if you have got the Yorkshire Pass.
There isn't much in the way of displays but the information which is given and the guide book are of the usual excellent quality that English Heritage produce.
This clover-shaped tower is the last remnant of William the Conqueror’s medieval castle. The original structure built by the Norman King was a wooden one, the present stone tower was constructed in the times of Henry II. The name comes from Lord Robert Clifoord, who led a rebellion against the King in 1322 and was hanged in the tower. Another, more tragic event, happened already in 1190. When the jews of the city were persecuted, the wanted so seek protection in the tower. The mob instead burned the tower and killed hundreds of people. Today, Clifford’s tower is less scary. Indeed, it has one of the most magnificant views to enjoy over York.
There's an entry fee to visit the tower (Around 3 pounds, I am not able to remember). From inside, you'll have a wonderful view over the old town. A stroll through the rooms of the tower is a nice past-time. If you are to cheap to pay the entry fee, you can climb the stairs and have at least a view to the southeast. To climb on the motte itself is a little too steep and forbidden.
Clifford's Tower is the only part left of the Castle at York, it was originally built by William the Conqueror in order to subdue the rebelias north. originally it was built of wood and has been burnt to the ground twice in it's life, the first time was when the Jewish population of York took refuge there after a missunderstanding by the local population and the Jews were blamed for the hardships of the local peopl;e, they sheltered in the tower and it was set alight the oones that escaped the flames were killed by the local people. it was again rebuilt by Henry III in the 13th century.
The towe's name comes from one grisly incident in its long history, it is named after Roger de Clifford who was executed for treason against Edward II and was hanged wrapped in chains from the towers walls.
English Heritage Members Free
Thu 1 Apr 2010 - Thu 30 Sep 2010 Mon - Sun 10:00 to 18:00
Fri 1 - Sun 31 Oct 2010 Mon - Sun 10:00 to 17:00
Mon 1 Nov 2010 - Thu 31 Mar 2011 Mon - Sun 10:00 to 16:00
Christmas Day, Boxing Day closed
New Year's Day closed
Notes Closed 24-26 Dec and 1 Jan
The round Clifford Tower on the mound and accessed by steep steps is a - must see - on any visit to York.
The site of Cliffords Tower was used by the Romans as a cemetery.
Standing on its mound the 11th century tower is the last remaining part of York Castle.
In 1068 William the Conquerer built a mound, and the round tower of wood. The tower was burned in 1190.
Later in the 13th Century it was rebuilt in stone by Henry ll.
The tower is known as Cliffords Tower because in 1322 Edward ll had the rebel Lord Robert Clifford hanged in chains from the walls.
It was the central Keep of the Castle.
There were more buildings surrounded by great walls and then a moat around the whole fortress.
The Groves York
1 Review and 441 Opinions The Groves is in a quiet cul-de-sac just outside the gate at Bootham so it’s an easy short walk in...
1 Review and 1253 Opinions I was recently in York for a couple of days and a friend recommended the Cedar Court Grand, a...
1 Review and 592 Opinions One of of York's best situated hotels - virtually opposite the Minster and not far from the main...