This is how Clifford’s Tower will look with a new visitor centre. What do you think?

The visitor centre English Heritage wants to build at Clifford's Tower
18 Jan 2016 @ 9.51 am
| History, News
What do you think? How the visitor centre might look at Clifford's Tower. Photograph: English Heritage
What do you think? How the visitor centre might look at Clifford’s Tower. Photograph: English Heritage

This is how Clifford’s Tower could look if a proposal for a new visitor centre gets the go ahead.

The plans for York’s castle were unveiled on Monday (January 18) by English Heritage.They include…

  • a new viewing platform at the top of the tower
  • a visitor centre which will reveal the tower’s 19th century wall, buried since 1935.

English Heritage wants to make a ‘substantial investment’ in Clifford’s Tower to dramatically improve the visitor experience.

This is one of several options the organisation has been considering. Now it wants your views at a drop-in public consultation on Thursday (January 21).

Public consultation

National Centre for Early Music in Walmgate

Thu Jan 21 @ 11am-8pm

Clifford’s Tower website

Stone, glass and timber

How the inside of Clifford's Tower would look under these proposals
How the inside of Clifford’s Tower would look under these proposals

The new single-storey stone and glass visitor centre will nestle into the mound at ground level, revealing part of the substantial wall, buried since 1935.

In the tower itself a timber structure could be installed to partially cover the ruin and provide fantastic viewing and activity space at roof level.

Suspended metal walkways will give access to previously unseen features at first floor level, enhance access to the roof and help celebrate the ruin.

The proposed scheme is designed by Hugh Broughton Architects working with conservation specialists Martin Ashley Architects, who were appointed in January 2015 following a design competition.

In July 2015 investigations into the mound at Clifford’s Tower were carried out by archaeologists as part of a long-term conservation project to understand its development and make-up.

Three excavations were carried out in sequence, allowing archaeologists to establish the condition of the perimeter wall – a feature last visible in 1935.

With its views over York, Clifford’s Tower is one of English Heritage’s most visited buildings.

Tower facts

The stone tower was built in the mid-13th century, but has stood in ruin since a fire in 1684

The mound beneath it is much older, dating at least to the reign of William the Conqueror

The site has military sieges, public executions and the mass-suicide and massacre of the York Jewish community in 1190

‘Never been told before’

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Swipe from right to left to see Clifford’s Tower today, and how it could look

Jeremy Ashbee, head curator of properties at English Heritage said:

We are investing in one of York’s most iconic landmarks to tell the fascinating history of Clifford’s Tower and its place in the city for generations to come in a way that’s never been told before.

We’ve been looking at several different options and we welcome members of the public to drop in to the public consultation to find out what we are proposing and for us to get their views.

Getting an insight from the public will help us in reaching a decision on how we make these improvements to one of York’s most famous and beautiful landmarks.

We want to make this a better experience for visitors and staff and we are keen to have the input of York residents.

Getting an insight from the public will help us in reaching a decision on how we make these improvements to one of York’s most famous and beautiful landmarks