Clifford's Tower is notorious as the site of York's most shameful hour. The city's Jewish population took refuge there after being attacked by a local mob in 1190. They were offered baptism or execution, but chose a third option instead. They took their own lives in a mass suicide pact. A modern memorial records the event.
In 1244 Henry III visited York and commissioned the reconstruction this time in magnesium limestone.Ê The shape was quatrefoil and a fore-building was placed between two of the curves.Ê This contained the entrance with portcullis and heavy doors.Ê During this period a stone wall was built around the large bailey to the south east of the keep.Ê There were about five towers and two gateways.
During the reign of Edward I York assumed great importance in the Scottish campaigns.Ê The royal courts and exchequer were accommodated in the castle bailey.
After the death of Edward II the exchequer moved back to Westminister and the castle was abandoned.Ê By 1360 the walls of the keep had cracked from top to bottom.Ê
During the Civil War the castle, although in poor repair, was fortified and garrisoned for the King.Ê After bombardment the castle surrendered in 1644.Ê
In 1660, following the Restoration, the damaged fore-building was replaced and the royal arms and those of the Clifford family were placed in panels above the entrance.Ê It was at this time that the tower received its present name and commemorates Roger de Clifford, a Lancastrian leader, who was hanged in chains from the top of the ramparts in 1322.
The tower is owned by English Heritage and is open to the public. There are great views from the top.
You are viewing panorama No.4 (Cliffords Tower, Tower St York, YO1 9SA), one of 134 Virtual Reality 360 degree views of York.
Map of York showing the location of Cliffords Tower, Tower St York, YO1 9SA at Latitude 53.95542 / Longitude -1.08038.
We have visited York on a number of occasions to produce this tour, this page was created on Thu, 25 Sep 2014 16:49:52 +0100, although the photography may have been obtained on an earlier date.
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