Clifford's Tower

Plans for a new visitor centre at Clifford’s Tower in York have been given approval by York City Council.

The visitor centre will be built into the base of the mound on which the 13th century-built Clifford's Tower sits and will reveal the tower’s 19th century wall that has been buried since 1935.

A new viewing platform and suspended metal walkways inside the tower are also planned, which will make previously inaccessible areas and unseen features available to groups.

Clifford’s Tower 

Clifford’s Tower is one of the main surviving features of York Castle, which sits on a castle mound built by William the Conqueror between 1068 and 1069.

In 1190, the wooden tower was burnt down after the York Jewish community was besieged by a mob at Clifford Tower and committed mass suicide.

The present stone tower, which features a four-lobed design, was built between 1245 and 1272. A fire in 1684 destroyed the interior, which left it as a shell of a building that visitors can recognise today.

A tactile model revealing how the site once looked is available for visitors to view in the courtyard of the tower. Visitors can also enjoy panoramic views across the city from the top of Clifford’s Tower, the place where it is believed castle guards once used as a vantage point.

Group visits

Groups of 11 or more benefit from a 15 per cent discount on admission costs and coach drivers and GTOs receive free entry to Clifford Tower.

Groups should note that when work on the new visitor centre begins, Clifford’s Tower will be closed to the public. Updates on the timings of closures are to be announced in due course and groups are asked to check the English Heritage website before visiting.

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