Clifford's Tower, York

Schools

Follow in the footsteps of William the Conqueror who ordered the building of this mighty fortress mound in 1068. Clifford's Tower was a symbol of his power and today is a lasting remnant of the medieval castle. Let your students experience what life was like in medieval York.

Please note: Clifford's Tower is currently closed whilst we undertake vital conservation works to protect the tower and make improvements for visitors. The tower will re-open to visitors on 2 April 2022 - keep an eye on our website and social media for updates on the project.

 

Curriculum Links

Support your teaching in the classroom by stepping out of it. A visit to Clifford's Tower  will help you bring learning to life, covering multiple topics across the curriculum and key stages.

  • KS1-3 History: Local History Study
  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places
  • KS2 History: Extending chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS3 History: The development of church, state and society in medieval Britain 1066-1509

Free self-led visits

Book a free self-led visit and lead your day in your own way. Let your students climb to the top of the tower and enjoy the panoramic views over the city of York from the wall walk. View the model of the motte and bailey castle, demonstrating what the area around the keep would have looked like after it was rebuilt in stone between the 13th and 16th centuries. We also offer free planning visits for group leaders once you have made a booking. 

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Plan your visit

We have a wide range of materials to support your visit and make school trip planning easy. You can find all our site-specific information and tools below, and our Covid-19 risk assessments and measures we’ve got in place on our what to expect page.

Download our free resources to help you make the most out of your visit and create unique learning experiences before, during and after your trip. We also offer free planning visits for group leaders once you have made a booking. Visit our bookings page to start planning your trip!

  • Facilities
    • PARKING: A large car park is located at the bottom of the steps up to the castle. This is operated by the local council and is usually very busy. Charges apply. There are many car parks dotted around the town, and a Park and Ride scheme.
    • TOILETS: There are no toilet facilities on-site. The nearest toilet is a five minute walk to Coppergate Shopping Centre with a small charge. These facilities are not managed by English Heritage.
    • ACCESSIBILITY: The tower has 55 entrance steps and then spiral stairs to the wall walk with uneven surfaces and hazardous walkways. Wheelchair access is very limited. 
    • LUNCH: There is no designated lunch space within the site but there are several small parks nearby suitable for picnics. There is no café on-site, however, you will find a vending machine selling hot drinks, sweets and chocolate.
    • SHOP: A gift shop selling a range of English Heritage gifts can be found on-site. Goody bags are available to pre-order
  • Learning Resources

    A Teachers' Kit is a free educational tool packed with everything you need to give your group a deep insight into the place you are visiting. Featuring historical information, suggestions for activities, and high-quality images, this resource is a comprehensive toolkit for group leaders of various subjects and key stages. Teachers' Kits also include key site information, facilities and plans.

     

    We've created a series of site-specific pages to inspire your local history learning. Aimed at National Curriculum Key Stages 1-3, our Clifford's Tower case study provides ideas for using the site to develop your local history study topics.

     

    With all history GCSEs now requiring a study of the historic environment, we’ve also created a site proposal form to help you with your planning in conjunction with OCR.

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