Clifford's Tower



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Still in its dominating position atop the grass-covered mound, Clifford’s Tower is a memorable landmark, all that’s left of York Castle. In 1190 it was the scene of one of the most bloody incidents in the city’s history: the Jewish population was rounded up and put into the castle, which was then burned to the ground. A second castle was quickly built on the site, which involved raising the mound – originally built in about 1070 from layers of clay and marl, gravel and stones, and timber – to its present height of about 60 feet. The new tower did not last long – it was blown down in a gale in 1228. Henry III ordered that a third tower should be built, and the stone quatrefoil-shaped keep seen today was erected on top of the mound. The castle was obsolete by the end of the 17th century – the rest of the site was rebuilt as a prison, and is now the Castle Museum.

Clifford's Tower
Tower Street,YORK,YO1 9SA


  • Parking onsite
  • Parking nearby
  • Facilities: Braille captions in courtyard, tactile model, induction loop, handrails
Opening times
  • Opening Times: Open Apr-Sep, daily 10-6; Oct, daily 10-5

About the area

Discover North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire, with its two National Parks and two designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is England’s largest county and one of the most rural. This is prime walking country, from the heather-clad heights of the North York Moors to the limestone country that is so typical of the Yorkshire Dales – a place of contrasts and discoveries, of history and legend.

The coastline offers its own treasures, from the fishing villages of Staithes and Robin Hood Bay to Scarborough, one time Regency spa and Victorian bathing resort. In the 1890s, the quaint but bustling town of Whitby provided inspiration for Bram Stoker, who set much of his novel, Dracula, in the town. Wizarding enthusiasts head to the village of Goathland, which is the setting for the Hogwarts Express stop at Hogsmeade station in the Harry Potter films.

York is a city of immense historical significance. It was capital of the British province under the Romans in AD 71, a Viking settlement in the 10th century, and in the Middle Ages its prosperity depended on the wool trade. Its city walls date from the 14th century and are among the finest in Europe. However, the gothic Minster, built between 1220 and 1470, is York’s crowning glory.


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