02/10/2019English Heritage launches public consultation on new Clifford’s Tower plans
- Roof deck and staircase changes seeks to improve visitor experience
- Visitor centre not part of new proposals
English Heritage has today begun a consultation on new plans for Clifford’s Tower in York, seeking the views of the public ahead of potential new applications for planning permission and Scheduled Monument Consent next year.
The consultation follows the decision not to proceed with constructing a new visitor building at the base of Clifford’s Tower’s mound in June 2018. Over the past few weeks, a new research project has been taking place at Clifford’s Tower, with historic buildings experts on site examining the conservation needs of the tower’s historic fabric. This research will inform the conservation works planned to take place alongside any potential investment in visitor infrastructure.
The new designs retain the walkways and roof deck which formed part of the 2016 planning application for the tower, constructed in a way which helps protect its historic stonework and allows more visitors to take advantage of the unrivalled views of the York skyline. However, the much-debated visitor centre at the base of the Clifford’s Tower mound has been omitted. Public views are once again being sought on the walkways and roof deck.
New elements of the designs include four potential options to enhance the staircase from street level to the entrance of Clifford’s Tower, on which public views are being sought:
- Option 1: Installation of new handrails beside the existing steps. Image © Hugh Broughton Architects.
- Option 2: Two new handrails beside the existing steps and three resting points for visitors during the climb. Image © Hugh Broughton Architects.
- Option 3: A new metal staircase with two landings to decrease the gradient of the climb. Image © Hugh Broughton Architects.
- Option 4: A new metal staircase with a single landing with side areas for visitors to rest. Image © Hugh Broughton Architects.
In addition, the consultation seeks views on the possibility of introducing a new electric three wheeled vehicle close to the base of the mound at Clifford's Tower to allow staff to greet visitors at ground level. The three wheeled vehicle would be a stored off site overnight.
For further information how the various access options were assessed, download our advisory note.
Investment in Clifford's Tower
Andrea Selley, English Heritage’s Territory Director in the North of England, said:
“Clifford’s Tower is one of York’s most important historic sites, and English Heritage is committed to investing in it in a way that protects its historic fabric and improves the experience of those visiting.
“Over the year since we announced that we would not proceed with constructing a new visitor building at the base of the mound at Clifford’s Tower, we have been reflecting on our plans, discussing various options, and consulting with stakeholders in the Castle Gateway area, and in wider York.
“Now, we are keen to know what the public think of our designs, which is why we are today launching a consultation, inviting everyone with an interest in the future of Clifford’s Tower to respond via our project email address, email@example.com.”
Though the plans for Clifford’s Tower are being delivered separately to City of York Council’s Castle Gateway Project and York Museums Trust’s plans for the transformation of York Castle Museum, the three organisations will work together so that the story of York Castle is told across the sites in a coherent way.
English Heritage is encouraging all those with an interest in the future of Clifford’s Tower to share their thoughts directly via firstname.lastname@example.org.
York residents who want to consider the designs in context are also invited to attend two “Residents Sundays” with free entry to Clifford’s Tower for York residents with proof of address on Sundays 20 October and 27 October, including opportunities for interested parties to respond to the designs.
Please note, this consultation closed on 16 December 2019 and this page has been retained for reference.
All images © Hugh Broughton Architects