Currently undergoing a substantial conservation project Clifford’s Tower is set to re-open in all its glory in summer 2021. The ideal starting point for any visit to the city. There’s plenty to discover at this imposing tower standing proud on its high mound. It is almost all that remains of York Castle, and has served as a prison and a royal mint in its time.
The stone tower was built in the reign of Henry II. The four-lobed design of the tower is very unusual and may be French in origin. The first floor was used as private apartments and includes a richly decorated chapel. Wonderful panoramic views over the city of York, including the majestic York Minster.
Built by William the Conqueror to strengthen his military grip on the north; the mound of Clifford’s Tower is all that remains of his original castle. Also imprisoned in the tower was the notorious highwayman, Dick Turpin, captured under the alias ‘Palmer’. However a letter he wrote from the tower allowed his true identity to be revealed, through his handwriting, and he was executed in York on 7 April 1739.