Architect Hugh Broughton with a model of how Clifford's Tower would look. Photographs: Richard McDougall
Architect Hugh Broughton with a model of how Clifford’s Tower would look. Photographs: Richard McDougall

After the artist’s impression received a markedly mixed reception online, how would people react to a 3D model of the new-look Clifford’s Tower?

That was the big question at a drop-in public meeting on Thursday (January 21) when the model went on display for the first time.

The proposed upgrade – revealed on Monday – includes a new visitor centre at the foot of the grassy mound.

Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 4)

Also in the plans are a partial timber roof to protect the ancient monument, plus a new walkway to “provide fantastic viewing and activity space at roof level”.

The drop in session, held at the National Centre for Early Music on Walmgate, had attracted a lot of interest, a spokesperson for English Heritage said.

A close-up view showing how the visitor centre would be incorporated into the motte
A close-up view showing how the visitor centre would be incorporated into the motte
A look at the new roof and walkway
A look at the new roof and walkway

While much of the initial response online has been less than positive, people who came to see the model were more enthusiastic, particularly about the roof and walkway she added.

Hugh Broughton, the architect who drew up the plans, described Clifford’s Tower as “an incredibly iconic beauty with such historic value”.

But he said change was needed. “We found most people have said that once they get inside the tower, they find it underwhelming.”

The controversial visitor centre is designed to reveal the tower’s 19th century wall, buried since 1935.

So has the model won you over?
So has the model won you over?

He agreed that the plans might be viewed as shocking – but change was needed “to ensure the long term survival of the monument”.

“We want the building to be distilled down to as little as possible: something strong and firm. It’s as simple as that,” he said.

6 comments on “This model shows how Clifford’s Tower would look with a new roof and visitor centre

  1. I went along to the consultation day. Nobody really addressed the online furore and behaved as though it hadn’t happened. I listened to the arguments for roofing the tower which undoubtedly needs protecting from the elements. I don’t understand why the whole project is so “square” when the Tower isn’t. A square void in the roof, angular stairways in the Tower, brutal square design and windows in the visitors centre. It all grates. I suggested arched windows and features, which even the Hilton Hotel has. The starkness of the design is totally out of place and seriously needs a rethink, in fact it seriously needs thought that appears totally lacking, and the lack of which has in no small way has brought on the hostile response

    1. I absolutely agree with you. do you know where myself any partner could go to make our views heard about this? Who got to go to the consultation?

  2. My grandad worked in Cliffords Tower ticket for as long as I can remember. My brother and me would visit him regularly, play sliding/roly-poly on the mound in summer/winter. It has and always will be known in our family as “Grandad’s Castle”. He would be horrified at this attempt to “modernise” this iconic monument. I too am aghast at this appalling model. A roof???….why??
    It is an ancient monument, leave it ancient. The history is in it’s age and construction. This is modernisation for the sake of it.
    Leave my “Grandad’s Castle” alone.

  3. Beyond a joke. Hugh Broughton. Do you live in York?? Bet you don’t. I propose an exact replica of this sack of crap being erected in your garden. It’s the only fair thing to do, wouldn’t you say???

  4. Is some one having a laugh? put a roof on Clifford’s Tower and build a shed on the front?? Do/will we who live in York have a say? It will look a mess and be ruined for what really? naw, don’t like what you are doing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *