£2 million development plan for Clifford’s Tower

The development of Clifford’s Tower by English Heritage is currently under consultation

Plans have been revealed by English Heritage that show the planned development of Clifford’s Tower, including a visitor centre and viewing platform.

The Visitor centre will provide access to a currently hidden 19th century wall that has been inaccessible since 1935. The proposals include the construction of a timber structure that will enclose much of the tower’s interior and act as a viewing platform and activity space. The designs were created by Hugh Broughton Architects in collaboration with conservation specialists, Martin Ashley Architects, after having won a design competition in January 2015.

Image: English Heritage

Image: English Heritage

A castle was first constructed, in the location of the current Clifford’s Tower, by William the Conqueror in around 1068. The tower is infamous for the mass suicide and massacre of York’s Jewish population in 1190, whilst seeking refuge. The existing tower was built in the 13th century, but was ruined by a fire in 1684.

The site is currently managed by English Heritage, a registered charity that cares for over 400 historic sites across England. The charity predicts an income of £97.8 million for 2016 with total expenditure expected to be £113.4 million.

A public consultation to discuss the proposed plans was held on Thursday 21 January. 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.”

Clifford’s Tower is currently open every day from 10am to 4pm until 24 March, when visiting times vary for the summer season. For more information contact: 01904 646940.

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