Tower is what remains of the York Castle. It is situated in the centre of York, North
The Clifford's Tower we see
today was built in the 13th century by Henry III, but there has been a castle on this site since
the time of William the Conqueror. Shortly after the Norman invasion in 1066, William had castles constructed in
York to control the North of England.
Those castles were located
where Clifford's Tower stands today and another just across the River Ouse.
The original York castle was a
Motte and Bailey with a keep made of timber. In 1190 the timber keep was burned to the ground. The
keep was rebuilt in timber again but was blown down by a storm.
In 1245 King Henry III had the
castle strengthened due to tensions between England and Scotland. It is at this time that the
castle switched from timber to stone.
York Castle once had curtain
walls, gatehouses, and the central King's Keep. But all that remains today is the central keep
which was renamed Clifford's Tower around 1596 after Roger Clifford who was a leader of the
Lancastrians. He was hung in chains along the walls of the keep after the Battle of Boroughbridge
During the Civil War, the
castle was occupied by the Royalists until the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644 when York surrendered
to the Parliamentarians who took possession of the keep. In 1648 a fire destroyed the interior of
In 1825 Clifford's Tower was
bought and was included within the area of the new prison and was no longer accessible to the
citizens of York. In 1935, when parts of the prison were demolished, it was once more visible to
the public as one of the chief attractions of the city of York.
The castle is now in the care
of English Heritage.
Clifford’s Tower Visitor Information
Clifford Tower is situated in York, England, off
of Tower Street in York's City Centre. The tower
is open to the public.
Clifford's Tower is located in
the city centre of York and is easily accessible from anywhere in the city. It is a walk of about a
mile from the train station. No trip to York would be complete without visiting the tower and the
York Castle Museum next door.
The keep sits on a high mound
and is shaped roughly like a four leaf clover which is unique for castles in England, although the
Chateau d'Etampes near Paris France has a similar size and shape.
The roof of Clifford Tower no
longer covers the tower except just above the forebuilding as you enter the keep. There are spiral
staircases that provide access to the upper floors and the wall walk at the top. Excellent views of
York and the York Minster can be seen from the wall walk.
It is open
10am to 6pm 01 April - 30
10am to 5pm 01 October - 31
10am to 4pm 01 November - 31
A gift shop is also available
For more information about
Clifford's Tower Tours please visit the official website or contact the Visitor Centre at 01904
Museum is located next to the Clifford's Tower and here you can find information about
visiting times and tickets: official website or contact by phone: 01904 687687
Clifford’s Tower address: Tower Street, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 9SA. Use this
map to get directions:
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