History and Stories
Sketch illustration of motte and bailey castle, showing bridge over moat leading to the motte with stone tower on top

Clifford’s Tower: History and Stories

York’s iconic ancient monument is home to one thousand years of history. The raised earthwork was once the site of a timber keep built by William the Conqueror. It burnt down during the worst event in the site’s history: the massacre of the Jews in 1190.

Clifford’s Tower has looked over the city of York from 1245 until the present day. Once part of York Castle, the tower played a role in turbulent national events such as the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the English Civil War. Today the site is still giving up its secrets.


Image © Getty Images/Universal History Archive/UIG 

Clifford’s Tower through time

Resources for researchers

Photograph of Clifford's Tower from ground level, showing daffodils in foreground

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