This evening, I am providing information on Clifford’s Tower in York, England, a Norman edifice which sits somewhat incongruously with the city’s Roman and Viking heritage.
York is a popular tourist destination located in NE England.
The current structure is the most recent incarnation of a succession of fortifications on the site dating back over 1000 years. A summary chronology is as follows:
- First construction was a timber structure built 1068 by William the Conqueror to consolidate his power in the North.
- Repaired and restored 1190-1194 following a fire when 150 Jews were massacred. Mound raised to present height at this time.
- In 1245 the second timber structure was destroyed by a gale.
- Rebuilt in stone by Henry III ( 1207-1272) in form of a quatrefoil, 50 feet high and 200 feet in diameter.
- Damaged due to subsidence in 1350.
- Attempted unauthorised demolition in 1596.
- Occupied in 1642 by troops during English civil war.
- Incorporated in York prison 1825.
- Now a visitor attraction operated by government agency, English Heritage. Today, the site reopens following extensive refurbishment and restoration. Along with the new free standing roof deck, new internal walkways and historic stairwells, which have been out of use for centuries, help to show the historical layout of the tower and give a better understanding of the history. There is also new information which will shed light on a number of chapters in the tower’s turbulent history. New soundscapes will also bring the tower and its stories to life.