A 13th-century fortification built by King Henry III on the site of an earlier wooden keep built by William the Conqueror.
Facts & Stats
- Best Known As
- Clifford's Tower
- Full Name
- Clifford's Tower
- Also Known As
- York Castle
- 53.955893° N, 1.080120° W (map)
- Tower StYO1 9SA
- 01904 646940
- June 14, 1954
- Clifford's Tower designated a Grade I listed building
Listed Building Description
SE6051SW CASTLE PRECINCT 1112-1/21/129 Clifford's Tower 14/06/54 (Formerly Listed as: CASTLE PRECINCT Clifford's Tower and portions of the outer walls of the Castle)
Castle keep. 1245-72; partly dismantled 1596-97; forebuilding largely rebuilt 1642-43; gutted by explosion in 1684. Restorations of 1902, 1915 and 1936. For King Henry III. MATERIALS: rubble stone faced with magnesian limestone ashlar; roof lost: forebuilding rebuilt in pinkish stone, with hipped roof of tiles. Quatrefoil on plan with rectangular projecting forebuilding. EXTERIOR: 2-storey tower, originally embattled, with battered base, 3 bartizans, and full-height buttressed forebuilding to south. Forebuilding has hollow-chamfered, elliptical arched doorway of 2 orders: to right, a length of original hoodmould survives. Building largely lit by slits or chamfered rectangular lights: in right return one original lancet survives. Above doorway, a halved panel is carved in low relief with Royal Arms of Charles II above the arms of Henry Clifford, 8th Earl of Cumberland. Two corbelled bartizans, lit by slits, and similar one opposite forebuilding a garderobe tower, lit by chamfered rectangular light. On each side of forebuilding, slits light staircases within tower walls. The lower stage of each tower lobe has two arrow slits with enlarged heads. In upper stage, lobes flanking forehouse have chamfered arched openings, one pointed, one round-headed, blocked later to form arrow slits. Elsewhere, openings are chamfered lights with shouldered heads. Remains of embrasures and arrow slits in merlons survive from original embattled parapet and walkway. A water spout with a grotesque face projects on the west. INTERIOR: forebuilding has spiral staircase in wall to left, entered through chamfered, shoulder-arched doorway. Inner doorway to tower is pointed and grooved for portcullis. On first floor, in former chapel, arcades of 4 pointed moulded arches remain on 2 adjacent walls; arches are enriched with dogtooth moulding, nailhead capitals to decayed shafts survive, some moulded waterhold bases remain: altered doorway with chamfered lintel in similar wider arch: one original lancet window survives: aumbry in rebated surround. Walls on each side of tower arch contain spiral staircases, entered through chamfered, shoulder-arched doorways. Similar doorways give access to garderobe tower opposite forebuilding, and on upper floor of intermediate bartizans to further spiral staircases to parapet walkway. In all parts, arrow slits and
shouldered lights are set in embrasures beneath round or pointed arches of voussoirs, some rebuilt in brick. Two lobes contain hollow-chamfered segment-arched fireplaces with hoods and flues intact. Stone-lined well beneath iron grille. Scheduled Ancient Monument. (English Heritage: Guidebook to Clifford's Tower, York: 1987-; An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of York: RCHME: The Defences: HMSO: 1972-: 73-74).
Listing NGR: SE6046351467
- The National Heritage List for England: 1259325, /resultsingle.aspx?uid=1259325. Historic England.
- Official Website of Clifford's Tower. Historic England. Official source.