Clifford’s Tower, York, England

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.

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 English Heritage.

Cliffords Tower, York, England

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